Miami Wins 10th Straight, Tops BC 4-3
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry struck out 11 and junior Danny Reyes homered to lead the Hurricanes to their 10th straight win Friday night, 4-3, over Boston College.
McKendry (7-6) recorded his fourth double-digit strikeout performance in the victory to extend the nation’s second-longest winning streak at Mark Light Field.
The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native allowed three unearned runs in 6.2 innings. He scattered seven hits and three walks in the 122-pitch outing.
Junior Frankie Bartow closed out his fourth save of the season with a clutch two-inning performance.
The righthander entered in the eighth inning with Miami leading 4-3 and a pair of Eagles runners on the corners and no outs.
Bartow was able to escape the jam unscathed, inducing three groundouts to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard.
An emotional Bartow was candid in his postgame remarks.
“I was just trying to do my job. I was thinking about doing the same thing I’ve always been doing – what I’m best at, just getting groundballs,” Bartow said. “I was throwing strikes. It was a very emotional night for me tonight.
“I believe in us and we got the job done…this team, we’re fighting. That’s what counts.”
After honoring eight Hurricanes during Senior Day pregame festivities Friday, Miami will look to make it 11 straight wins on Saturday in skipper Jim Morris’ final regular season game as head coach.
“It’s been a privilege playing for [Coach Morris],” Bartow said. “The seniors, they’re my brothers. We’re all family here. I wanted to get this win for them…it was a big win for us to keep this winning streak alive.”
Fans are encouraged to arrive to Mark Light Field by 12:15 p.m. on Saturday for Morris’ final game.
The Hurricanes (27-25, 16-13 ACC) fell behind 2-0 early Friday but used a three-run sixth to take the lead in the middle innings.
Boston College (17-32, 7-22 ACC) received 7.2 solid innings from lefthander Dan Metzdorf in the loss.
Reyes got a run back in the second on his team-leading fifth home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center.
The game’s outcome was decided in the sixth, when the Hurricanes turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
Miami needed just five at bats to plate the three runs. After a leadoff double from freshman Willy Escala, a sacrifice bunt from freshman Freddy Zamora put the tying run on third base.
Freshman Tony Jenkins delivered a game-tying single off Metzdorf (1-8) to center.
On the very next pitch, a double from junior Romy Gonzalez to left field put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time at 3-2. Gonzalez, who took third on a throw from the BC outfield, scored two pitches later on an RBI groundout from Reyes.
The Eagles got a run back in the seventh on an RBI groundout, and things looked dicey in the eighth when senior Cooper Hammond gave up back-to-back singles to open the inning.
But Bartow saved the day with a tremendous effort to maintain Miami’s lead.
After a sacrifice bunt put two Eagles in scoring position with one out, Bartow induced a groundball to Zamora, who fired home and got the lead runner. A walk loaded the bases, but another groundout ended the inning.
The game ended on a double play turned by the Hurricanes’ infield, sending the remainder of the 2,528 fans into celebration.
“I can’t really tell you, honestly,” Bartow joked about the difference during the winning streak. “It could be my blonde hair is going away. Maybe the blonde hair was bad luck. We’re not doing anything different from the beginning of the year. I think guys are just getting more comfortable.
“It’s coming to the end of the season, and we’re trying to make a push. That’s all we can do right now. Just keep fighting.”
The Hurricanes and Eagles return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Saturday for Game 2. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra, 790 The Ticket, WVUM 90.5 FM and 990 AM ESPN Deportes, is slated for 1 p.m.