No. 1 Miami Runs Winning Streak to 10 Straight
|Reaction: Morris | Abreu, Collins|
|W – D. Garcia (5-2)||4.0||4||1||0||1||1|
|L – J. Ortiz (4-2)||5.2||7||5||4||0||2|
|MIA – Z. Collins||4||2||3||0||0||0|
|MIA – W. Abreu||3||1||1||2||0||0|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It didn’t take long for the “we’re number one!” chants to break out at Mark Light Field.
One day after sweeping the top spot in every college baseball poll, No. 1 Miami was serenaded by 2,395 appreciative fans in attendance Tuesday in an 8-3 win over Nova Southeastern.
The Hurricanes (26-4) turned an uneasy one-run lead into a more comfortable 7-0 advantage with a six-run sixth inning to the delight of the crowd, and won for the 21st time in their last 23 games.
The big hit came from junior Willie Abreu, who connected on a two-run triple that chased Sharks starter Jonny Ortiz in the decisive sixth. Abreu added a highlight reel-worthy catch in the next half-inning before being replaced in the eighth with his team ahead 8-0.
“It feels good to be able to get that hit for my team, but that’s not what I’m trying to do,” Abreu said of his triple. “I’m just trying to get that run in, and do what I have to do to continue to get the bat to the next guy.”
Junior slugger Zack Collins added his second straight three-hit performance (3-for-4) to raise his average to a team-best. 438.
“It felt a little weird yesterday, but today we knew we had to come out hard,” Collins said about being the nation’s newly anointed No. 1 team. “[Nova is] a good team, and we just played our game.”
Junior lefthander Danny Garcia, who was on a pitch count of roughly 50 according to head coach Jim Morris, tossed four shutout innings to help extend Miami’s winning streak to 10 straight games.
After missing his scheduled start Sunday at Notre Dame due to a weather-impacted weekend, Garcia (5-2) allowed four hits in a 49-pitch outing. He struck out one batter and walked one.
“It was a good win for us,” Morris said. “After going to Notre Dame and not playing two out of three, I thought it was very important to get back on the field and play a game competition, and kind of get rolling again.”
Miami took the lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from junior Joe Gomez, making the first start of his Hurricanes career behind the plate.
“It was nice to see Joe come in and catch a game and do a good job,” Morris said. “He had the game-winning RBI. He was our player of the game.”
A single from senior Brandon Lopez followed by a Sharks’ fielding error and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Gomez, who drove a pitch from Ortiz to left to plate the opening run.
Ortiz (4-2) would settle down to deliver an efficient outing of his own, facing the minimum number of batters over the next three-plus innings after allowing a run.
But the Hurricanes would break through in the sixth, chasing the lefthander with a six-run frame. A sacrifice fly from Lopez doubled Miami’s lead to 2-0, and Abreu followed with the triple cracked to right to boost the advantage to 4-0.
Two of Miami’s five two-out RBI came on the hit, Abreu’s first triple of the season.
“Our team has always done well with two outs…that’s something we pride ourselves on. It was good. I got a good hit, got the barrel on the ball,” Abreu said.
A Sharks pitching change would not affect Miami, as RBI singles from redshirt junior Edgar Michelangeli and sophomore Carl Chester off reliever Ronald Patella pushed Miami’s lead to 7-0.
Aided by two errors after defensive changes for Miami, the Sharks (25-12) scored three runs off reliever Keven Pimentel in the eighth inning. Freshman Isaiah Musa entered and retired Kevin Suarez for the final out of the inning, and would go on to pitch a scoreless ninth.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Alvarez recorded the first hit of his Hurricanes career on a leadoff single in the ninth.
The Hurricanes return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Wednesday, April 13 for a matchup with UCF. First pitch for the game, slated for broadcast on ESPN3 and 560 WQAM, is set for 6 p.m.