Five weeks into the season, there were a number of firsts as the 12th ranked Hurricanes (9-6) trounced the Fordham Rams (0-6) at home, winning the series 3-0.
Sophomore right-fielder Dennis Raben had reason to celebrate this weekend, hitting two homers Saturday for the first time in his career, giving him three RBIs on the night. On top of that, he came up big in the tenth inning Sunday afternoon after he hit an RBI single to win the game, 10-9.
Freshman catcher Jason Hagerty had his first career hit Sunday afternoon, a double, after 19 at-bats this season.
As of Wednesday, Head Coach Jim Morris was not even sure freshman third baseman Mark Sobolewski would play because of illness. Despite missing a couple days during the week, Sobolewski came into Friday night’s game and smashed his first homerun as a ‘Cane, driving in one of his five RBIs of the night.
“That was a really great feeling,” Sobolewski said, noting he has not been able to hit one all year. “Home runs aren’t something I try to hit, but it’s nice to see one go out.”
In addition to Sobolewski’s five RBIs, sophomore center fielder Blake Tekotte and sophomore first baseman Jemile Weeks each hit four RBIs, all before the sixth inning. Between the three, they drove in all but one of the night’s runs.
Mirroring this offensive tour-de-force, junior left-handed pitcher Scott Maine pitched five scoreless innings, striking out five batters and only allowing four hits.
But the bullpen could not maintain Miami’s huge lead and, with bases loaded in seventh, Fordham could have potentially made a comeback.
“They have to come on,” Morris said of the young relievers, “It’s tee time; we’re playing.”
Similar to Maine, strong pitching characterized Saturday’s game early, with freshman left-hander Eric Erickson pitching six scoreless innings. The Rams scored their only run of the night off him in the seventh. Morris kept Erickson in until the eighth inning, one the longest nights for any starter this season.
Senior right-hander Danny Gil held Fordham off in the ninth, sealing the 8-1 victory.
With the series victory sealed for the ‘Canes Sunday, Miami came in to the game still looking to sweep, which was apparent by their seven-run second inning that lasted roughly 45 minutes.
After the second inning, the ‘Canes lost their footing and allowed nine unanswered runs before the bottom of the tenth, when they scored three to win the game, 10-9.
“They’ve got some good players and they just keep coming at you,” Morris said. “We went on cruise control and we’re very fortunate to win the game.”
The Rams hit four ‘Canes Friday night, three of whom were struck while at home plate. Freshman starting shortstop Ryan Jackson was hit in the face at first base during the third inning and missed the rest of the series.
According to Kerwin Lonzo, the SID for Miami baseball, Jackson’s surgery would most likely happen Monday and he would be back for next weekend’s series against the University of North Carolina.
The ‘Canes play St. Bonaventure at home today before traveling to UNC this weekend for there first ACC game of the season.
Greg Linch may be contacted at email@example.com.