Canes notch midweek wins, Gators up next

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Senior catcher, Alex San Juan, rounds first and steals seconds during Tuesday night's game against St. Thomas. Canes won the game 5-4. Nicholas Gangemi // Staff Photographer

Senior catcher, Alex San Juan, rounds first and steals seconds during Tuesday night’s game against St. Thomas. Canes won the game 5-4. Nicholas Gangemi // Staff Photographer

Two weeks into the season, Miami has worked the “one game at a time” mentality into a 9-0 start.

For the second year in a row, the Canes will take a sizable winning streak into a weekend series against the Florida Gators.

Miami extended its perfect start with a win Wednesday night over the Barry Buccaneers, 5-1. Coach Jim Morris called it an “all-around team effort.”

“I thought we played extremely well tonight. We pitched well, [Thomas Woodrey] got his first career win,” he said. “We always have a player of the game, but we really didn’t have one tonight. There wasn’t one guy that stood out, it was a team effort.”

The Hurricanes got on the board against the Buccaneers when catcher Garrett Kennedy drove in Michael Broad with a single in the second inning. Second baseman Alex Hernandez added another in the inning to give Miami a 2-0 lead, but was then caught stealing.

Woodrey, in his second start of the year, walked in a run with the bases loaded in the third inning. He got out of the jam with no further damage. It was the only run Woodrey would give up.

“He gutted it out, I don’t think he had his best stuff,” Morris said. “Of the three games he’s pitched, this is probably the least stuff he’s had. His velocity was down, but he battled and did a good job of holding runners when he was on. When you go out there and win without your best stuff, it shows you something.”

The Canes blew the game open in the fifth, scoring three runs to extend their lead to 5-1 over the Buccaneers. Freshman first baseman David Thompson hit a single to collect his 14th RBI of the season, a team high.

Miami would not relinquish that lead for the rest of the night, keeping Barry scoreless after the third frame.

On Tuesday, Miami trailed St. Thomas 4-2 when a double from Broad tied the game up in the bottom of the eighth. Earlier that inning, right fielder Chantz Mack hit a line drive up the middle for a double of his own after second baseman Alex Hernandez took first base on a walk. Then, with two outs and the count at 0-1 Broad was able to hit a deep ball to bring Mack and Hernandez home.

After a spectacular diving catch by center fielder Dale Carey preserved the tie going into the bottom of ninth, the Canes were able to load the bases with two walks and a bunt. Hernandez put a liner in shallow right field for a walk-off hit that secured the come-from-behind win.

“[I was] just trying to put the ball in play,” Hernandez said. “I know the infield was in as well, and I was just trying to tee something up and hit it hard, make something happen.”

The victory on Tuesday not only preserved Miami’s 9-0 record, but it also marked the first start of the season for junior pitcher Bryan Radziewski. The lefty missed much of last year with a season-ending shoulder injury. Although Radziewski only saw limited action, being replaced after two innings, he was able to hold the Bobcats scoreless.

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen live hitters, since playing another opponent, so I was just trying to work on my stuff,” he said.

Miami now prepares for a tough regular season matchup against the No. 29 Florida Gators. The 3-6 Gators have struggled as of late, and they were swept at home by Florida Gulf Coast. But the Canes have come up empty in recent years against their instate rival, losing the last 11 straight games since 2010.

“To me it’s a very fun environment. I like when the fans are all hostile and stuff,” Mack said. “The fans heckle you all game, but you can’t let it bother you. Just stay focused on the game, and we’ll be fine.”

 

Patrick Riley contributed to this story.

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