It was a little bit of déjà vu at Mark Light Field as the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes battled the No. 19 UCF Knights on Wednesday night. A week after going into extra innings against No. 21 Florida Atlantic, the Cardiac Canes were at it again, bringing the game down to the wire.
“If you play the teams from down here, they’re all pretty good,” head coach Jim Morris said. “I don’t care if it’s FAU or Central Florida or South Florida. All those clubs are good. There’s a lot of good players down here in South Florida. Because of that, everybody’s good.”
Miami (29-9) and UCF (25-13) were locked at two for two and a half innings before the Hurricanes loaded the bases in the seventh. Then, Garrett Kennedy stepped up to the plate and smacked a 2-RBI single to right field. The catcher is the Hurricanes’ leading batter with an average of .382 and is on a nine-game hit streak.
Willie Abreu launched a home run, also to right field, in the second that tied the Knights’ run in the opening inning.
“I’m not changing my approach,” the sophomore said when asked if he has been trying to hit for power. This was only his second homer of the season. “I just continue to work with my coaches and have trust in what they want me to do and I continue to do what they tell me.”
UCF answered in the fourth when Tommy Williams hit a home run. Despite two earned runs from starter Danny Garcia, the defense and relief pitchers were able to back him up.
“That’s all you can ask is to have a good start by those guys and have our bullpen keep it going,” Kennedy said.
Bryan Garcia got his eighth save, going three up, three down including one strikeout. Michael Mediavilla gets the win for Miami, pitching two-thirds of an inning in the seventh.
Miami travels to Virginia to play a weekend series. The team completed a 9-game home stand, winning every game. The Virginia series can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM.