The baseball team completed its first sweep of the season Sunday by taking the final game of a three-game series 6-5 over the Elon Phoenix in front of 1,457 fans at Mark Light Field.
The ‘Canes rallied in the seventh inning for the third time this weekend to come back after falling behind 5-0. Freshman John Jay went three for four in the victory and Brendan Katin added a home run, his fifth on the season.
Danny Gil improved to 3-0 on the season with the victory as the ‘Canes won their seventh game in a row to move to 11-3 on the year.
“We got lucky today,” Head Coach Jim Morris said. “They lost a few balls in the sun and we were able to capitalize.”
Elon Head Coach Mike Kennedy was tossed from the game after arguing a balk call during the seventh inning rally.
George Huguet pitched two dominant innings to earn his second save of the season. Huguet missed the first part of the year with pneumonia.
“I felt good out there,” Huguet said. “This time was the first time I pitched two innings since last year and I felt fine.”
The weekend started early for the Hurricanes when they took on the World Series Champion Florida Marlins in a spring training exhibition game Wednesday in Jupiter, Fla. The ‘Canes put up a formidable fight, losing 7-6 to the defending champs. Down 6-1 at one point, Miami rallied to score five runs to tie the game before yielding the winning run to the Fish.
On Thursday the Hurricanes took on the Maine Black Bears and collected a 9-3 victory with the help of a seven-run seventh inning. Brian Barton provided the big hit with a three-run triple. Miami stole eight bases on the night in addition to its 11 hits. Centerfielder Paco Figueroa swiped three bases by himself.
Reliever Shawn Valdes-Fauli earned his first victory of the year, marking the end of his suspension for violation of team rules.
“It is great to have George [Huguet] and Sean [Valdes-Fauli] back out there,” Morris said. “Danny Gil has also pitched well and it’s great to have these guys come out there and shut the door.”
Friday marked the beginning of a special series for Head Coach Jim Morris. The ‘Canes kicked off a three-game series against Elon, Morris’ alma mater. The Hurricanes beat the Phoenix 6-3 in the opener in front of 2,402 fans at Mark Light Field.
Catcher Erick San Pedro hit his team-leading sixth homerun in the victory. Miami again took the lead in the seventh inning on an Elon passed ball. More significant than the passed ball was the fact that pinch runner Danny Figueroa scored it. Figueroa is coming off elbow surgery and hopes to be fully operational later in the year.
Valdes-Fauli earned his second win in as many nights improving to 2-0 on the season.
Saturday was open season for the Hurricanes as they completely demolished the Phoenix by a score of 24-0 to win their sixth game in a row.
Leftfielder Brendan Katin provided some mild fireworks as he put two homeruns out of the park, including a grand slam off the scoreboard. The grand slam is his second of the season. Katin had six runs batted in on the night.
“This is huge,” Katin said. “Before we were struggling to get two or three wins in a row and now we put together seven.”
Second baseman Adam Ricks had an impressive night as well, including a career-high five hits and four runs scored.
Dan Touchet improved to 2-0 on the season with the win and was backed up by great defense. After some shaky outings in the field, third baseman Gaby Sanchez made big plays on numerous occasions this weekend.
Miami will try to continue its hot streak against Campbell University Wednesday night and then again on Friday and Saturday night against Rutgers before finishing up the three game set on Sunday afternoon.
Game time against Campbell is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at Mark Light Field.
Ryan Ellis can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.