No. 17 Miami Drops Series Opener to No. 2 Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The 17th-ranked Hurricanes had been there plenty before.
Miami mounted 10 come-from-behind victories through its first 21 games.
But against No. 2 Wake Forest Friday evening, the Hurricanes’ magic ran out.
Behind two big innings, the Demon Deacons defeated Miami, 11-0, at David F. Couch Ballpark.
“Early on, we had some guys on base, but we couldn’t get a big hit,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “We had their pitcher’s pitch count up, but then he settled in. We didn’t give competitive at-bats. We didn’t hit balls hard and they did. We have to get a better outing from our starters moving forward.”
Wake Forest (20-3, 5-2 ACC), which entered the series tied for first nationally in runs, tallied a pair of four spots in the third and fourth, respectively, and never looked back.
Sophomore Tommy Hawke opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly before redshirt junior Pierce Bennett plated another with an RBI double.
With the Demon Deacons ahead 2-0, redshirt junior Justin Johnson singled home a pair, pushing the lead to four.
One inning later, freshman Marek Houston launched a two-run homer and sophomore Nick Kurtz and junior Brock Wilken each brought home a tally with run-scoring groundouts.
The eight-run cushion was more than enough for the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Rhett Lowder (5-0).
Lowder pitched seven scoreless innings, limiting the Hurricanes (15-7, 5-2 ACC) to just three hits, while striking out nine.
Junior right-hander Michael Massey recorded the final six outs to preserve the shutout.
Miami sophomore Karson Ligon (2-1) was tagged with the loss after going the first 3 2/3 frames.
The Hurricanes will look to even the series Saturday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
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