The Hurricanes defeated Rutgers in the series finale 7-0 completing the sweep in the season opening series on another cold day in Coral Gables. The Canes played error-free baseball ... visiting Rutgers did not, committing 3 errors affording Miami extra base runners.
"I thought our fielding the whole weekend was good, we only committed 2 errors (in the series)," said coach Jim Morris. "I was pleased overall with the entire effort, physically and mentally the way we played the game."
The Canes got a quality start from pitcher Andrew Suarez, who threw 5 complete innings striking out 3 and not allowing a run. RP Vince Kossak replaced Suarez in the 6th inning and pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief, only allowing 1 hit.
"I felt really good, I didn't really have my stuff today - because of the weather I didn't have a grip on the ball," said Suarez. "I just trusted my defense to do the plays."
At the plate the Canes were able to get production throughout the lineup with 6 different players picking up an RBI. The Canes finished the game with 11 hits, while also taking advantage of errors and getting some productive outs.
"We did a good job situational hitting," said Morris. "Second and third Chantz (Mack) hits a ground ball to the right side, run scores and guy from 2nd moves to 3rd. Next guy hits a ground ball up the middle, that run scores. In the book it looks like an 0-2 but basically that's situational hitting, that's how you win games."
Miami was in control of the game throughout, scoring 2 runs in the 3rd inning and one run in both the 4th and 5th innings. After a scoreless 6th inning the canes entered the 7th with a 4-0 lead and were able to put the game out of reach.
1B David Thompson hit what appeared to be a routine pop out to short, but the Rutgers fielder lost the ball in the sun and the ball dropped. Thompson who was hustling the whole way was able to reach 2nd base. CF Dale Carey followed with an RBI single that drove Thompson home, sliding in to beat a throw to the plate. C Alex San Juan followed with another base hit advancing Carey to 2nd base. Carey and San Juan were both able to advance a base after a wild pitch. 3B Brad Fieger came up to bat and cleared the bases with a double deep down the left field line putting the Canes comfortably in the lead at 7-0.
RP Frank Grandinette relieved Kossak in the 9th and shut down the Rutgers lineup, preserving the shutout and helping Suarez pick up his first win of the season. After completing the sweep on Sunday the Hurricanes are 3-0 heading into a Wednesday night matchup with the Florida Atlantic.
"It's real important it gives us momentum and confidence, one thing we learned this weekend as a team was to trust one another," said Mack. "It gave a lot of the young guys confidence and it just shows a lot of guys got their first hits and RBI. Were just going to keep building and get better and better."