Sports

Canes looking confident as they cruise past FAU

The No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes won their ninth straight game in dramatic fashion after overcoming a four-run first inning deficit to defeat Florida Atlantic University, 16-7.

The bottom half of the Hurricanes’ lineup continues to have success as junior left fielder Dave DiNatale and sophomore shortstop Ryan Jackson combined for eight RBIs.

“The biggest thing was DiNatale tonight, he was the player of the game,” head coach Jim Morris said. “And of course Jackson has been solid all year. He’s doing a great job hitting in the six or seven spot of the batting order.”

With such a commanding win, the Hurricanes (22-2) continue to demonstrate that they have one of the most potent lineups in college baseball.

“We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now,” said DiNatale, who had a career-high four hits. “Every guy goes up there knowing he can get the job done. It’s hard to beat.”

The Canes were able to cut the lead to one after a three-run bottom of the first and continued to use their offensive dominance to overwhelm the Owls (16-10). Miami had 16 hits in the game giving them double-digit hits in 16 of their last 17 outings.

“I think our offense is one of the top in the country,” DiNatale said. “Our bullpen is great and our pitching is doing really well.”

In the fourth inning, DiNatale hit a huge two-run homerun that cleared the left field scoreboard, giving the Hurricanes their first lead of the game, 5-4. DiNatale, who had five RBIs, finished one triple short of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles and a single.

Second baseman Jemile Weeks and center fielder Blake Tekotte both finished with two hits and extended their individual hitting streaks to 11 games.

“We’ve got a lot of guys in our lineup who feel like if they don’t do it, somebody else is going to do it,” Morris said. “They’re very confident, just like any team who is 22-2.”

While Miami’s offense carried the team to victory, it was their defense and pitching staff that held on to the lead. Florida Atlantic’s leading hitter, right fielder Mike McKenna, went 1-for-3 on the night with zero RBIs. McKenna is one of the best hitters in the country with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs on the season.

Miami looks to keep their winning streak alive when they host Clemson this weekend for an important three-game series in the ACC.

Rory Lincoln may be contacted at r.lincoln@umiami.edu.

April 3, 2008

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.