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February 25, 2012Stay connected to the Canes. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone and register with CaneSport on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! Don't miss the all-new digital CANESPORT MAGAZINE - - covering every game inside and out.
On a windy Saturday night at Alex Rodriguez Park, the No. 12 Miami Hurricanes capitalized on a lackluster pitching performance from the Albany Great Danes to clinch their weekend series with an 11-1 victory.
"We're getting better," coach Jim Morris said. "We have a lot of new players in the lineup.
"I'm excited about the possibilities with this team."
For the second night in a row, it was a stellar performance on the mound that helped propel the Hurricanes to victory. Junior righty Eric Whaley pitched six strong innings, giving up only three hits and striking out six batters. His one run allowed was unearned. His counterpart, Albany starter Sean Lucas, finished with five runs allowed on three hits and seven walks.
"The rotation - we're all pitching well," Whaley said. "I pitched pretty good today."
Miami got things going in the bottom of the third inning, when centerfielder Dale Carey's single drove in rightfielder Chantz Mack to put the Canes up 1-0.
In the very next inning, the Great Danes were able to take advantage of uncharacteristic fielding miscues from Miami, tying the game at one run apiece. Second baseman Stephen Perez had two errors in the inning.
With a 3-2 count in the bottom of the fifth, designated hitter Tyler Palmer ripped a double down the left field line to drive in Mack all the way from first base. Palmer advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Carey, and then scored on a wild pitch from Albany pitcher Sean Lucas. Later in the inning, shortstop Michael Broad hit a triple to deep right-center to score two more, making the score 5-1 in favor of Miami.
Albany reliever Matt Dybus hit a batter, walked a batter, and threw a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth, allowing Miami to load the bases. Peter O'Brien, who entered the game having reached base in 10 of his previous 12 at-bats, connected on a bases-clearing double to up the Canes lead to 8-1. The Hurricanes would tack on one more run on a sacrifice fly from first baseman Brad Fieger, making the lead 9-1.
The Canes will finish up their home series with the Great Danes early on Sunday morning, when they take the field at 11:30 A.M. for first pitch. All non-televised home games can be watched live on Canes All-Access, while 90.5 WVUM will have the call on radio.
* Stephen Perez has been playing second base because he's coming off an elbow injury. He'll move back to shortstop eventually.
"We don't need to rush," Morris said.
* EJ Encinosa should be available by Wednesday coming off some arm issues.
Another Quality Start
Junior Eric Whaley tossed the Canes fifth quality start of the season on Saturday night against the Great Danes. The righty went six strong innings, striking out six and allowing only three hits. He lowered his ERA to 0.75 in the process.
Captain Continues Dominance
Having reached base safely in 10 of his last 12 at-bats heading into Saturday night's contest, O'Brien finished the game 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. Adding in tonight's game, the senior catcher is now hitting .560 on the year with a whopping 1.080 slugging percentage.
Sophomore designated hitter Tyler Palmer had his first game-winning hit as a Hurricane, as his fifth-inning RBI double that scored Chantz Mack and gave the Canes a 2-1 lead ended up as the game's deciding run.