The Miami Hurricanes got their season started in strong fashion, sweeping the Rutgers Scarlets Knights at Mark Light Stadium this weekend.
The Canes rolled to a a 4-1 victory on Friday night, followed up with a 2-0 shutout Saturday evening and closed strong with a dominate 8-1 performance on Sunday afternoon. Below, our five-minute recap of opening weekend at The Light.
Thomas Woodrey was on the mound for Miami on Friday night and he lasted 5.0 innings, giving up for hits, one run and striking out five. The Canes got on the board early with one run in the first; an RBI single from Willie Abreu, who added an opposite field home run in the bottom of the fourth, putting Miami up, 2-1.
A sacrifice fly from Christopher Barr in the fifth brought Romy Gonzalez home, extending the lead to, 4-1. It was the first game for Gonzalez, as well as fellow freshman Frankie Bartow, in front of a home crowd of 3,299. Gonzalez’s first career hit was a double, followed by Barr driving him in.
Barton went two innings in relief of Woodley and gave up one hit on 16 pitches. Cooper Hammond replaced him in the eight, with Bryan Garcia closing out the ninth—the two keeping the Scarlet Knights hitless for the remainder of the evening.
Edgar Michelangeli and Peter Crocitto each had two-hit performances the Canes’ opener, while Miami and Rutgers both stranded seven on base over the course of the evening.
Saturday evening’s showdown had left-hander Michael Mediavilla on the mound in his transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation this season—with a solid performance from last year’s Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American. Mediavilla went six innings, gave up three hits, struck out seven and issued no walks.
“Starting the game, I felt very comfortable with my curveball, which helped me out a lot,” Mediavilla said. “As the game went on, I felt I had my changeup working and had both pitches going…I established them at a great time in the third inning, and I cruised from then.”
Bartow again entered in relief, lasted an inning, gave up a hit and struck out one. Hammond took over in the eight, faced three batters, struck out two—as did Garcia in the ninth.
Miami only had six hits in the low-scoring affair, though Zack Collins got on base four times, by way of a hit and working the count for three walks.
Gonzalez got things rolling for the Canes in the bottom of the fifth with a double to the left field corner. Randy Batista moved Gonzalez to third by way of a sacrifice bunt and Carl Chester brought him home with a line-drive single to center.
Miami got an insurance run in the bottom of the eight when Johnny Ruiz laced an RBI single through the left side, plating Jacob Heyward, who reached by way of a dropped routine fly ball two batters prior.
A quick turnaround from Saturday evening to noon on Sunday saw the Hurricanes continuing with their dominance of an inferior opponent, jumping on the Scarlet Knights early and never letting up.
Danny Garcia did his job on the mound, lasting seven innings, giving up two hits, striking out four and only allowing three baserunners in Miami’s dominant, 8-1 performance. The Canes’ starting rotation only allowed one earned run and nine hits over 18 innings of play, for a combined 0.50 ERA.
With the series in tact, head coach Jim Morris and pitching coach J.D. Arteaga went with Andrew Cabezas andKeven Pimentel to close out the final two innings. Cabezas kept Rutgers’ bats quiet, while Pimentel struck out three and gave up a hit.
A two-RBI single from Ruiz got thing rolling for Miami in the first, while Abreu delivered an RBI double in the sixth. Ruiz also tacked on another RBI single in the bottom of the inning. Heyward drew a bases loaded walk in the latter innings, while Barr smashed a two-run triple as an exclamation point on the weekend.
Seven of the Canes’ eight runs were scored with two outs.
With the series’ sweet, Miami extended its win-streak over Rutgers to 15 games.
Next up for the Canes; a Wednesday night showdown at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field against St. Thomas. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. ET, with the game scheduled for broadcast on ESPN3 / WatchESPN and 560 WQAM.
The mid-week appetizer will be followed by a highly-anticipated showdown against the rival Florida Gators, with 7:00 p.m. ET go-times on Friday and Saturday before Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. ET finale.
Miami is currently No. 6 in the latest Baseball America D1 poll, while Florida sits atop the rankings at No. 1. The Canes and Gators last met in the College World Series, where Florida rolled 10-2 in an elimination game after stomping Miami 15-3 in the opener.