Junior right-hander Eric Smith pitched eight plus innings and surrendered only three hits as Rhode Island stunned No. 10 Miami 3-0 Tuesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
At one point Smith (1-0), who finished with five strikeouts and two walks, retired 15 consecutive hitters before issuing a two-out walk to sophomore Iden Nazario in the eighth. Senior righty Luke Demko earned the save.
“I want to give Rhode Island credit. He [Smith] had great stuff. He located all night, stayed ahead of our hitters, he was hard to run on,” head coach Jim Morris said. “Good pitching beats good hitting and good pitching tonight beat our hitting.”
Freshman southpaw Daniel Miranda (0-1) took the loss for the Hurricanes after giving up three runs on eight hits in four innings of work. Senior right-hander Jason Santana and junior right-hander John Housey allowed just one hit and combined on five scoreless innings of relief.
“Mainly I was just hitting my spots and [I wanted to] get us back in the dugout,” Santana said. “A lot of fastballs trying to get ahead of the hitters.”
The Rams (5-2) scored two runs in the second and one in the third.
Junior Rob DeVeney led off the second with a single and moved to third on a double down the third base line by sophomore Jeff Cammans. DeVeney barely made it past the tag on junior Zoey Angulo’s sacrifice fly to right field. Freshman Mike LeBel singled to left to drive in the second run for Rhode Island.
In the next inning, senior Dan Rhault singled past a diving Jason Hagerty at first with one out and advanced to third on a gap single by sophomore Tom Coulombe. Senior right fielder Dave DiNatale’s throw on DeVeney’s mid-range fly beat the runner to the plate, but sophomore catcher Yasmani Grandal’s tag was applied late.
Rhault and Cammans each collected two of the Rams’ nine hits and both scored a run.
DiNatale, junior Chris Herrmann and freshman Nathan Melendres had the only three hits for the Canes, whose best scoring chance came in the first when Hagerty was caught stealing second to end the inning with runners at the corners and freshman Harold Martinez at the plate.
Melendres extended his hit streak to eight games with a single in the ninth.
“He [Smith] was pretty much throwing strikes all day. He didn’t get behind on anybody. He pitched a great game. We put the barrel on the ball a few times, but straight at people,” Melendres said. “Things weren’t clicking. He was getting a lot of quick outs.”
Miami (6-2) will host its second consecutive midweek game tomorrow against Mount St. Mary’s (0-3) at 6 p.m.
“I don’t want to lose, no question about that. You can go from the outhouse to the penthouse in one day and vice versa,” Morris said. “It’s a tough game that you’ve got to play every day and you’ve got to come out to play every day.”