The Hurricanes had their final tune-up against Harvard this Wednesday in front of 1,758 fans at the Homestead Challenge.
With the bases loaded and one out, Miami junior Jim Burt hit a walk off single to give the Hurricanes a 10-9 victory in the bottom of the tenth inning. With the win, the ‘Canes move to 20-4 on the season while the Crimson drop to 3-7.
“He threw me a changeup and I just sat back on it,” Burt said.
A myriad of UM pitchers combined to hold off the Harvard Crimson with George Huguet throwing two innings to get the win, moving him to 2-0 on the season.
Combining flawless defense and timely hitting, Harvard kept themselves in the game until Burt’s heroics in the tenth.
“It wasn’t pretty but we came out here and got the win,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We have played Harvard a lot of times since I have been here and they have always come out ready to play.”
UM starter Brandon Camardese pitched a pre-determined two innings before departing in favor of a shaky Hurricane bullpen.
“We had some troubles with our pitching, but George came in and buckled down in the end,” Morris said.
Every time Harvard took the lead in the contest, Miami was able to immediately respond. Led by designated hitter Ryan Braun who had three RBI’s on the night, Miami worked around a thin pitching staff and simply pounded out the victory with offense.
Miami shortstop Alex Blanco continues to shine since being named the team’s starting shortstop. Wednesday night, the sophomore, who has also pitched out of the UM bullpen, went 4 -4 with three runs scored. The four hits were a career high for Blanco.
“I just contribute to the team in any way I can,” Blanco said. “I’m learning a lot as a hitter from my pitching and I am also learning a lot about my pitching from hitting so it’s working out for me on both sides of the ball.”
A moment of concern for the ‘Canes when left fielder Richard Giannotti was hit by a pitch on the inside of his left knee in the bottom of the third inning. Although Giannotti stayed in the game momentarily, the sophomore’s prognosis doesn’t look good for the immediate future, according to Morris.
“Richard was walking around better after the game,” Morris said. “I’d say he is doubtful for Friday at best.”
After five games against inferior completion, the ‘Canes embark on a huge series against No. 2 Georgia Tech, beginning with tonight’s 7 P.M. contest. Morris is quick to point out the importance in playing well against the Yellow Jackets.
“Georgia Tech is going to be a huge series for us,” Morris said. “Any time you have a team that is ranked in the top five you have to beat them to get recognized nationally.”
Ryan Ellis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.