Canes hold off Owls, win 8-7

Nathan Melendres rounds the bases after a Florida Atlantic throwing error on Tuesday night. The Canes went on to win, 8-7. STEVEN STUTS // HURRICANE STAFF.

Coming off a series victory over No. 23 Florida State last weekend, No. 5 Miami avoided a large early deficit, produced a four-run fifth and held on after a scare in the ninth for an 8-7 victory over Florida Atlantic Tuesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

Starter Jason Santana (5-0) fanned a season-high six batters over six innings and allowed four runs, three earned, for the Hurricanes (24-8). Starter Brent Adheen (0-3) gave up four runs, three earned, on just two hits in four innings for the Owls (17-12).

“I felt good today, trying to get ahead of the hitters and keep the ball low with the way the wind was blowing,” Santana said. “I take what I get whether it’s midweek or weekend. A win’s a win. In the postseason you need more than three starters and that’s what I look forward to.”

Freshman Harold Martinez continued his hot hitting with a two-run double in the fifth, while junior Jason Hagerty went 2-for-3 with a walk, run and RBI. Both extended their hitting streaks to nine.

The two combined to go 15-for-29 with five homers, 13 RBI, 14 runs and 35 total bases in four games last week.

“I don’t try to think about that too much or put extra pressure on myself,” said Martinez about his base hit that barely stayed fair down the line. “I thought it was going to go foul.”

Closer Kyle Bellamy picked up his ninth save in 1.1 innings of work, but surrendered a two-run homer to Nick Criaris in the ninth to make the score 8-7. He then stranded runners at first and second by striking out the final two hitters.

“I think he probably just went out there with less focus. Sometimes with closers like that they’re used to going out there with the game on the line,” head coach Jim Morris said. “He got behind the hitters and that’s a tendency for a lot of closers to do that.”

Miami faces No. 20 Clemson (20-11, 9-6) for a three-game road series this weekend beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.