After shredding North Carolina from the plate with 10 runs on nine hits on Friday night, the Hurricanes took care of the ninth-ranked Tar Heels from the mound on Saturday. Starting pitcher Michael Mediavilla carved up the North Carolina lineup as the third-ranked Hurricanes cruised to a 7-3 win to take the series against the top-10 ranked ACC rival.
The left-handed sophomore gave up three runs in a career-long 7.1 innings and career-high 112 pitches. Mediavilla (5-0) retired 12 straight batters and 17 of 18 before giving up a solo home run to right field by first baseman Zack Gahagan in the top of the eighth. Right-handed freshman Frankie Bartow came in for Mediavilla as the starter left to a standing ovation by the 3,441 fans at the Light with one out in the eighth.
“I found a groove early. I fought some trouble in the second inning but then I was able to calm myself down and not let that affect me,” Mediavilla said. “I started attacking hitters, getting ahead early, and it worked out for me.”
North Carolina (20-6, 6-5) took an early lead for the second time this series, but again it didn’t matter. Center fielder Tyler Ramirez led off the second inning with a huge home run to right field and shortstop Logan Warmoth scored on a sacrifice fly to put UNC up 2-0.
“Mediavilla pitched outstanding after giving up two runs, then he got the next 17 out of 18 guys. He kind of set the tone for the game pitching right there,” Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said.
The Canes (22-4, 9-2) made up the deficit and more in the third inning. Miami scored five runs in the third on a two-RBI single by junior first baseman Chris Barr and a bases-clearing double to right-center by senior shortstop Brandon Lopez. The Canes added one more in the fifth on an RBI-single to center by junior second baseman Johnny Ruiz, but Miami wouldn’t need it with Mediavilla on the mound.
“I just wanted to get a good pitch early in the count and knew he was a fastball pitcher and just take it the other way,” Lopez said of his hit in third inning off starter J.B. Bukauskas (4-1).
North Carolina’s right-handed sophomore was undefeated coming into the matchup but took the loss after giving up six runs – five earned – and seven hits in 5.0 innings. Mediavilla struck out five and only gave up four hits and one walk in the longest outing of his career. The sophomore now has three wins this year versus top-10 opponents, with victories earlier in the season against No. 1 Florida and No. 4 Louisville.
Bartow gave way to junior closer Bryan Garcia in the ninth after recording the last two outs in the eighth inning. Garcia sealed the win with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
Sophomore center fielder Carl Chester added the final run with a two-out RBI double to left field in the eighth that scored junior infielder Randy Batista.
Miami has won 11 of its last 12 games and 17 of the last 19 overall. The Canes next play North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Mark Light Field.