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February 22, 2012

Ewing leads Canes to 3-0 victory

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The No. 12 University of Miami Hurricanes made their first road trip of the season on Wednesday, finding success in their midweek battle with the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Canes took the 3-0 victory in a game played at Hammond Stadium, the Spring Training complex of the MLB's Minnesota Twins.

Junior starter Steven Ewing guided the Canes to their fourth win of 2012, pitching seven full innings and allowing only one hit while striking out seven. Ewing was a model of efficiency on Wednesday night, needing only 86 pitches to get through his overpowering outing.

The Orlando, Fla. native built on his impressive career numbers against the Eagles. Including his start on Wednesday, Ewing has pitched 23.2 innings against FGCU, allowing only ten hits and three earned runs combined. He kept batters off balance on Wednesday night, using all of his pitches effectively in allowing only one hit that hopped over the head of third baseman Esteban Tresgallo.

Catcher Peter O'Brien led the way on offense, finishing the game 4-for-4 with a run scored. The Miami Gardens native has been heating up in his past two games, connecting for hits in eight of his last nine at-bats. The senior captain is now hitting .579 on the season

The Canes got on the scoreboard in the third inning, beginning with a scorching opposite field double over the head of the rightfielder. Fellow senior Rony Rodriguez advanced O'Brien to third on a groundout, while first baseman Brad Fiegerhelped plate the run with a groundout of his own.

Fieger finished the day 1-for-3 with two runs batted in. It was the fourth career multi-RBI game for the sophomore, who was playing in front of family and friends from nearby Naples, Fla.

With the Canes sporting a 3-0 lead, head coach Jim Morristurned to closer E.J. Encinosa for the ninth inning. Encinosa, however, was pulled after allowing a hit and a walk. A.J. Salcines would enter the stressful situation in relief of Encinosa, earning his first save of the season after inducing a game-ending double play

GAME NOTES:

Faces in the Crowd
UBaseball alums and Minnesota Twins Danny Valencia, Carlos Gutierrez and Chris Herrmann all made appearances at Wednesday's game. All three are in Fort Myers for spring training with the Minnesota Twins. Former Hurricane star Kevin Brown was also at the game, and made a crowdpleasing catch of a foul ball.

Cranking It Up
Senior catcher Peter O'Brien is now eight for his last nine, dating back to the Hurricanes' 9-7 win in their series finale with Rutgers. O'Brien went 4-for-4 against the Eagles, including his second double of the season.

Battle of the Birds
With Wednesday night's win, the Canes improved their record to 8-0 all-time against Florida Gulf Coast University. With his victory, Ewing is now 3-0 over his career against the Eagles.


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