The baseball team claimed another series by sweeping this weekend’s meeting with the University of South Florida. As a result, Miami remains undefeated on the season, improving to 7-0. The Hurricanes haven’t started a season with seven wins since 1992.
Miami completed the sweep Sunday in front of 1,767 fans at Mark Light Field with a final score of 9-4. The game was marked by an impressive offensive showing in which the Hurricanes exploded for nine runs on 13 hits.
Miami’s bats came to life around the fifth inning, with a Paco Figueroa RBI single that gave the ‘Canes a 3-2 lead followed by a Ryan Braun two-run home run to left field.
The ‘Canes kept coming and in the sixth inning added another three runs thanks to a Danny Robitaille base hit to left field and a Figueroa sacrifice fly.
Head Coach Jim Morris described the game as “the best we’ve played this season.”
The series began with an impressive come-from-behind victory in which the Hurricanes found themselves with a 9-2 deficit throughout the greater part of the game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the ‘Canes began a rally in which they scored nine unanswered runs to come out on top with an 11-9 win.
In the eighth inning right fielder Brendan Katin smashed a two-run home run to put Miami ahead 10-9. The final run came from a Danny Figueroa single.
Saturday’s game was somewhat of a role reversal, with Miami fighting to hold off the rallying Bulls while capitalizing on their three errors. The outcome, however, was another Miami victory, this time by the score of 7-5.
Paco Figueroa said after the game that there was no emotional letdown after the previous nights’ dramatic win.
“You always want to blow a team out, but we’re just glad to get another win under our belt,” he said.
The Bulls always remained within striking distance, but Ryan Braun helped Miami widen the gap with a home run over the right-center field wall to give the team a 7-4 lead.
Braun said the team knew the Bulls would be a formidable foe.
“Yeah, it’s obviously nice to have the big hit, but the Bulls are a quality opponent, and in situations like that you need to have big hits,” Braun said.
Things became especially heated in the eighth inning when South Florida Head Coach Eddie Cardieri was ejected after stepping on the field to challenge a controversial strike call made by umpire Josh Miller. During the following play, the Bulls’ Nick Cardieri, the head coach’s son, argued a strikeout call prompting his own ejection.
All those matters aside, Morris was pleased with his team’s offense.
“Sure, anytime you get 13 hits and nine runs and we took advantage of their mistakes, you’re doing a good job,” he said. “Paco Figueroa broke the game open, and Ryan Braun was really hitting hard.”
Morris said the defense deserves recognition for its improvement over the weekend.
“Chris Perez had really good stuff today and we played better defense this weekend, particularly the last two games.”
Mike Soto can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.