Spring is almost here, but the Miami Hurricanes are bringing the heat early. With a new ball and plenty of new faces, they made a statement by sweeping the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to open the season.
Freshman outfielder Carl Chester was given the leadoff position in the batting order. Other freshmen to see action included Justin Smith, Peter Crocitto and Michael Mediavilla. Because Miami had so many large leads, Coach Jim Morris was free to give these players experience.
On Friday night, Miami (4-0) won 5-2. After being tied through eight innings, Johnny Ruiz and Chester each had a major hit that put the Hurricanes ahead.
Chester’s double was his first collegiate career hit.
“I didn’t think we played as well as we could play in really any phase of the game,” Morris said. “But the biggest thing was we came back and we got it done when our backs were against the wall.”
Starting pitcher Andrew Suarez, who decided to return after being drafted in the second round by the Washington Nationals, got the win in five innings. But he wasn’t too happy with his performance, allowing eight hits and two runs.
“I didn’t have my stuff today,” he said.
Miami won both games of the Saturday double header 9-5, 9-3.
In the first game, Rutgers (0-4) scored in the first inning on a two-run homer from Tom Marcinczyk. Hurricanes junior pitcher Thomas Woodrey was a little shaken. This was his first start since freshman year.
“It was definitely a lot more mentally exhausting than I remember,” Woodrey said. “It goes by a lot slower than you would think, but it was good.”
Miami came back with a big hit from Zack Collins in the second inning and had a three-run fourth inning.
In the evening, Miami struck first with two runs to start. They continued to score, garnering a 6-0 lead.
Then, Rutgers threatened Miami, scoring three runs with two outs in the eighth. Miami went through three pitchers trying to contain the Scarlet Knights. The Hurricanes then answered with three runs of their own to close the inning.
Enrique Sosa got the win in his first career start, pitching a career-high 10 strikeouts in five innings.
To close the series, Miami won 25-4, led by a monster fourth inning where they scored 12 runs.
David Thompson and Malik Rosier each had a home run. Rosier, a freshman, also had a single.
George Iskenderian went 4-of-4. He also went 2-of-4 with three RBI in the third game.
Derik Beauprez got the win, coming in to relieve starter Danny Garcia after three innings. He retired the first three batters he faced.
The Hurricanes will play on Wednesday at home against FAU, then travel to Gainesville for a weekend series against Florida.