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Powered by a stellar start from lefthander Eric Erickson, the No. 21 Miami Hurricanes cruised to an 11-0 win over the visiting Demon Deacons of Wake Forest on Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Erickson, making potentially the final home start of his brilliant career in front of a faithful crowd of 2,810, saved his best for last. Erickson (8-5) didn't allow a hit until his final frame, striking out three batters through six full innings of work in one of his best showings of the season. The Sarasota, Fla. native allowed three baserunners on the night, needing only 67 pitches to get through his outing.
Miami used a six-run second to power its way to a win that snapped an eight-game conference losing streak. Aided by seven errors in the field from Wake Forest, Miami (31-17, 13-12 ACC) pounded Deacons' starter Tim Cooney for 11 hits and nine runs (five earned) in only five innings of work. Every single Hurricanes starter recorded a hit in the opener, including multi-hit games from Jarred Mederos, Brad Fieger, Tyler Palmer, Stephen Perez and Chantz Mack.
The big second inning, where Miami sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six of their 11 runs, keyed a win that was never in doubt for a Hurricanes team in need. After back-to-back singles from sophomore Brad Fieger and senior Rony Rodriguez opened the second, Cooney issued a walk to junior Michael Broad that loaded the bases. At bat in a crucial early-game situation, freshman shortstop Jarred Mederos connected on a single through the left side of the infield that plated both Rodriguez and Fieger to give Miami a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for Wake Forest, Miami was far from done. Tyler Palmer would reach on the second error of the inning for the Deacons, plating both Mederos and Broad on the play. After catcher Garrett Kennedy advanced Palmer to third on a clean sacrifice bunt, junior Stephen Perez ripped a sacrifice fly to left field that plated the fifth run of the inning.
From then on, it was Erickson's patented effectiveness that kept Miami in control of the game. The veteran starter, who allowed zero runs in a start for the fifth time this season, would retire ten in a row after the offensive outburst in the second. The lineup would tack on four more runs in the middle innings, matching a season-high with 14 hits in the win.
The two teams return to Alex Rodriguez Park for game two of the series on Saturday. First pitch for the game, set to be televised on Comcast/CSS, is scheduled for 7 p.m.