Baseball

Canes wiser than the Owls on diamond

The No. 9 University of Miami (22-7) baseball team continued its dominance over cross-town foe Florida Atlantic University (16-13) over the past two days improving the all-time series record to 47-8 in favor of the Canes.

The Hurricanes beat the Owls on Tuesday at FAU Stadium 8-5 after six innings of one-run baseball from freshman left-hander Jerad Grundy. Miami clobbered the Owls Wednesday at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light 11-0 as four pitchers combined for the shutout.

“We have now won seven games in a row and 12 of 14,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We are playing pretty well. We have been pitching well. Our starting pitching has been outstanding in particular. Our [middle infielders]are two freshmen and are turning a lot of double plays.”

Grundy was efficient and economical keeping his defense on the tips of their toes. He tossed 69 pitches in six innings of work, by far his best performance of the year. It was his first career win as a member of the orange and green.

“I stuck with my fastball and changeup and I hit my spots,” Grundy said. “I let the defense do the rest of the work because I only had two strikeouts.”

The Hurricanes scored seven of their eight runs with two outs. Their bats blossomed in clutch situations in Broward County.

Junior catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a line drive two-run home run in the third inning. Freshman second baseman Frankie Ratcliff drilled his second home run of the year. The Key West native hit a three-run home run that put the Canes up for good 7-1 in the fourth inning.

The bullpen struggled in the late innings but sophomore reliever Danny Miranda notched his first career save to secure the victory.

On Wednesday night, senior right-hander David Gutierrez got his first start of the season. Gutierrez began the season as the squad’s closer but struggled last week blowing two saves. Despite the role change, the veteran was not rattled.

“[Closing] wasn’t difficult, I just got hit at the wrong times,” Gutierrez said of the transition. “I like starting but I like closing too. You have to always make adjustments.”

Miranda will resume the closing duties.

Miami scored four runs in the first inning off the benefit of one hit. FAU starter, senior Kenny Gary, had no command of the strike zone. He walked in a run and hit a batter with the bases loaded.

For the second time in as many days, Grandal hit a home run to right field. He hit a towering blast that landed on the stairwell of the Ponce de Leon parking garage and bounced on to Greentree Practice Field. The homer was his fifth of the season.

“They were throwing a lot of fastballs to me on [Tuesday] and I know [the pitcher]had nothing over powering so I was just sitting on off-speed,” said Grandal who is now hitting .396.

Senior first baseman would add to the power barrage as he hit a soaring three-run home run to right field to open up the flood gates in the fifth inning and make the score 10-0.

Miami has now won six games in a row over FAU. The season gets tougher as they face stout ACC competition the rest of the year.

The Hurricanes play a weekend series against Virginia Tech (21-10) beginning Friday at 5:30 p.m. Virginia Tech beat Florida State in Tallahassee two out of three times last weekend. All three games against the Hokies can be heard on 90.5 FM WVUM.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

Miami vs. FAU Season Recap

March 31 Miami beats FAU 12-5

April 6 Miami beats FAU 8-5

April 7 Miami beats FAU 11-0

April 7, 2010

Reporters

Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


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