The No. 2 University of Miami Hurricanes salvaged the final game of a three-game set Sunday afternoon against No. 3 Georgia Tech.
While the Canes lost a weekend series for the first time this year, Miami was able to avoid its first sweep in Coral Gables since 2006.
Junior second baseman Scott Lawson’s three-run home run in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game broke a 2-2 tie and ultimately propelled the Canes to a 6-2 win.
Sunday starter Iden Nazario was brilliant as he tossed seven innings, allowing just two runs with ten strikeouts and one walk.
“I just kept the ball low, kept the ball in, threw all my pitches and kept them off balance,” Nazario said. “I kept talking to myself mentally between innings and that really helped me. I did not want Georgia Tech to come out of here with a sweep.”
Georgia Tech (18-4, 8-2) defeated Miami (20-7, 8-4) 13-9 Friday night and 6-4 Saturday night.
Friday night starter Chris Hernandez’s pitching woes continued. On Friday night he gave up a career-high seven earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He suffered the loss for the second time in as many outings. Through six starts, the preseason All-American has an ERA of 5.88. Last year through his first six starts his ERA was 2.06.
“You never expect to see that high of a scoring performance on Friday night when you have Friday night starters,” head coach Jim Morris said. “When you score nine runs on Friday night, you are expected to win the game.”
Hernandez, the 2008 National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, led the staff in innings pitched last year and traveled the world over the summer pitching for the USA Baseball National Team. For this reason, Morris had Hernandez resting during the fall.
“It is easy to second guess yourself,” Morris said. “But he pitched a lot of innings last year and he threw a lot for team USA over the summer. He took the fall off. In retrospect it probably would have been better for him to take the summer off and pitch in the fall. He has to locate and get his confidence back.”
UM continues its eight-game home stand Wednesday against Barry at 6 p.m.