The No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes won their thirteenth consecutive game Sunday after sweeping a three-game series against the Clemson Tigers.
Miami (26-2, 12-1 ACC) continues to have their best start under head coach Jim Morris and second-best start in school history – the Canes started the 1981 season 39-3.
“This is a great team effort,” Morris said. “I am very happy with the way we played. A sweep against Clemson is big because they’re one of the better programs in the country year in and year out.”
Junior center fielder Blake Tekotte extended his hitting streak to 15 games after going 4-for-11 with 4 RBIs this weekend.
“We’re relaxed, everyone is confident,” said junior left fielder Dave DiNatale. “We’re just playing with great enthusiasm.”
Junior first baseman Yonder Alonso had his first walk-off home run as a Hurricane in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Clemson (18-13, 6-9 ACC) 6-4 Friday night.
“This is unbelievable,” Alonso said after the two-run homer. “I can’t feel my legs or my head. I’m on top of the world right now.”
Miami received solid pitching from freshman Chris Hernandez and sophomore reliever Kyle Bellamy. The two combined for a season-high 16 strikeouts. Bellamy (5-0) got the win for the Hurricanes after not allowing any hits and striking out five in 2 1/3 innings of work.
“Every win is big right now, no question,” Morris said. “We’ve played well enough to put ourselves in a position to be ranked high.”
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes pummeled the Tigers 15-5. Freshman catcher Yasmani Grandal had a strong performance, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs, one triple shy of the cycle. Junior right fielder Dennis Raben and junior second baseman Jemile Weeks each added three RBIs, including a Weeks home run in the fifth inning.
Bellamy picked up his second consecutive win coming in relief for injured pitcher Iden Nazario who strained his shoulder.
Clemson’s pitching struggled in the eighth inning, giving up eight runs and walking five batters.
The Canes closed out the three-game series with a 7-6 win. Junior reliever Rene Guerra picked up his first win of the season and junior left fielder Dave DiNatale had the game-winning three-run homer in the fifth inning to lead the Canes to victory.
“Clemson is probably the best team we’ve played all year,” DiNatale said. “This is really big for our team.”
After an Arizona State loss last weekend, the Hurricanes hope to be No. 1 in the nation in the upcoming polls. The Canes will host Florida Gulf Coast Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Rory Lincoln may be contacted at email@example.com.