Keeping the streak alive

Miami’s pitching staff continued its impressive season with a sweep at Duke last weekend.

The team gave up three earned runs in the series to improve to 21-6 and remain the only undefeated squad in Atlantic Coast Conference play. The Hurricanes ran their winning streak to 15 games in a row since being swept by Florida at home.

Sophomore Carlos Gutierrez pitched seven shutout innings on Friday as the Hurricanes won the opener 3-0. Gutierrez improved to 6-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.70.

Freshman Dennis Raben drove in the first run of the game, and freshman Blake Tekotte hit a sacrifice fly to put Miami up by two.

Sophomore Manny Miguelez followed by pitching eight innings, giving up an unearned run and picking up a career-high 10 strikeouts as Miami won the ballgame, 4-3. The lefty Miguelez only threw 93 pitches, 66 of them for strikes.

Freshman Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homerun in the first inning to give Miami the early lead. Junior catcher Eddy Rodriguez had an impressive night, going 4-for-4 with two doubles.

Miami held a 4-1 lead going to the bottom of the ninth and brought in junior closer Chris Perez, who had never blown a save as a Hurricane and closed out Friday night’s contest. After runners got on first and second, Jimmy Gallagher doubled to drive in two and cut the lead to one, but Perez induced a groundball back to the mound to pick up his second consecutive save of the series.

The Hurricanes got the sweep on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Stadium with a 7-1 victory. Scott Maine won his fourth consecutive start while pitching a career high eight innings of shutout ball. Maine struck out four while walking just one batter, only giving up two hits on the day. Freshman Jemile Weeks went 3-for-5 at the plate, including his second triple of the series and a solo homerun in the ninth inning. Weeks now has a 13-game hitting streak.

Perhaps even more impressive was Weeks’ nine assists at second base, a season high for the Hurricanes. However, starting pitching was the topic of conversation with UM Head Coach Jim Morris after the ballgame on Sunday.

“Our starters threw real well this weekend,” Morris said. “It’s great to watch these pitchers all weekend long, the way they threw the baseball.”

The Hurricanes will head to College Park this weekend to face Maryland. The Terps have a record of 8-13 and 3-6 in the ACC after losing two of three at No. 3 North Carolina last weekend.

Maryland shortstop Steve Braun, the brother of former Hurricane standout Ryan Braun, is hitting .267 with a homerun on the season while starting every game.

Miami will look to extend its longest winning streak since 2002 when it ran off 18 in a row from the end of the 2001 season through 2002 and try to get closer to the school record of 26 in a row.

Miami and Maryland will face off Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM .

Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at