Junior righthander Enrique Garcia’s sensational performance on Saturday was the only bright spot in Miami’s series defeat by the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Mark Light Field this weekend.
As fans celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1982 national championship team during the weekend, North Carolina State made a statement by taking two of three from the Hurricanes.
Without lefthander Erick Erickson available because of elbow soreness, Miami was without a true starter for Sunday.
The Hurricanes turned to J.J. Housey, but he was roughed-up early, allowing two homeruns in the first inning and was relieved by righthander Alex Koronis to start the second inning. North Carolina State would pummel Koronis, who only recorded an out while surrendering six runs on five hits. Relievers David Gutierrez, Teddy Kaufman, Michael Rudman and Kyle Bellamy finished out the game, allowing a combined 10 runs.
“Our pitchers didn’t do a good job locating today,” Head Coach Jim Morris said. “When you get nine runs, you hope to win. We have to pitch better.”
The Wolfpack scorched Miami pitching in the 19-9 victory, recording 23 hits as well as a five-run fourth inning.
Garcia had a breakout performance on Saturday, throwing a complete game five hitter while striking out a career-high 12 batters in a 5-1 victory.
Garcia consistently threw first pitch strikes and was ahead of hitters all afternoon. He did not walk a batter and mixed in his fastball and breaking ball effectively.
“My fastball was working and I threw a lot more four seams than I usually do,” Garcia said. “It helped me with my control and I was able to get the first pitch strike over.”
Garcia’s performance marked the Hurricanes first complete game ever in ACC play. Lefthander Manny Miguelez was the last Hurricane to go the distance in March of 2006 against Indiana.
Miami once again failed to provide run support for unlucky lefthander Scott Maine on Friday, falling 5-3 in 13 innings.
Maine tossed seven strong innings, allowing three runs, one while striking out seven batters.
“[Maine] again threw well enough to win,” Morris said. “We got to score some runs and make plays for him.”
Despite out-hitting the Wolfpack 10-7, Miami stranded 12 base runners and committed five costly errors.
“We didn’t play good,” Morris said. “We had no clutch hitting and we didn’t hit with guys on base. We made some mistakes and gave them three out of five runs for sure.”
In the top of the 13th, North Carolina State broke the tie without a hit.
After Koronis made an errant pickoff throw toward first base, designated hitter Vince Gutierrez came around to score on another throwing error by second baseman Roger Tomas, who attempted to catch the runner going toward third base.
A bright spot for Miami in the series was the performance of right fielder Denis Raben, who hit three home runs. Raben also went 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief and threw out a runner at home plate.
Alex Kushel may be contacted at email@example.com