With critics and fans questioning how good the baseball team truly is, No. 6 Miami came out inspired last weekend and took a critical series from No. 7 North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium.
The Hurricanes began the series with an offensive explosion Friday afternoon, out slugging the Tar Heels 17-7. Freshman Alex Garabedian paced Miami by driving in a career-high five runs and leadoff hitter Danny Figueroa went 3-for-5.
The game was expected to be a classic showdown between two of the best pitchers in the country, UM’s Cesar Carrillo and UNC’s Andrew Miller, but it became a batting clinic plagued by defensive consistency. Both teams combined to produce 19 hits, 16 walks and seven errors.
Carrillo lasted six innings, relinquishing seven hits, five runs (four earned) and three walks and striking out one. He improved to 9-0 on the season and 21-0 in his Miami career, putting him in a tie for sixth on the all-time consecutive decisions won list. Freshman Manny Miguelez earned his first career save in three innings of relief.
North Carolina point guard Raymond Felton threw out the first pitch, but his appearance did not inspire Miller, who fell to 7-1 with the loss, giving up nine runs (seven earned), three hits and eight walks in only 2.1innings. Miami’s 17 runs were the most scored against UNC since Georgia Tech put up 19 in May 2001.
The onslaught continued Saturday as the Hurricanes scored nine unanswered runs to pull away to a comfortable 18-9 victory. Ryan Braun broke open a tie game in the seventh inning with a two-run home run. His homer tied him with Charles Johnson for eighth on UM’s career list.
Relievers Andrew Lane and Chris Perez combined for 4.2 scoreless innings as Lane improved to 2-0 with the win in a career-high three innings of work, striking out three. Starter Brandon Camardese struggled, lasting merely 1.2 innings, allowing four earned runs, five hits and three walks. UNC hurler Daniel Bard also went 1.2 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on four hits and three walks.
Jon Jay had a solid night, going 3-for-6 with five RBI. He was responsible for the Hurricanes’ first run, as his first-inning single drove in Figueroa.
Saturday’s game was shown nationally on ESPN 2.
The baseball team returns to action Friday when the Hurricanes take on Florida State at Mark Light Field in a three-game series. Each game can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM.
Eric Kalis can be contacted at email@example.com.