Johnny Ruiz still isn’t quite healthy enough to play second base at the moment, but he made the most of his time as designated hitter on Wednesday night.
With the bases loaded, the senior hit a two-run single in a four-run seventh inning to seal the University of Miami 5-2 victory over Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.
It was the No. 17 Hurricanes’ (3-4) first mid-week matchup of the season, and freshman pitcher Gregory Veliz was on fire – for the majority of the contest. But, he would get pulled after allowing back-to-back singles that led to loaded bases, and ultimately, two scores for FAU (4-3-1) that gave it a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the fifth.
From that point on, it was all Canes led by reliever Andrew Cabezas, who got himself out of multiple close calls with Owl runners in scoring position. With UM up three, he would pitch two scoreless innings, and closer Frankie Bartow would finish up in the ninth to get the win.
Veliz, a two-position player, struck out five in his four innings of work. He started the season playing first base in games one and two against Rutgers. But Miami Coach Jim Morris’ plan is to have him pitch on Wednesdays.
Lead-off hitter James Davison had a drag bunt up the first-base line that gave Miami a 3-2 advantage with no outs in the top of the seventh.
Junior outfielder Carl Chester, who has struggled to start the season batting just .182, blasted a solo home-run in the top of the third inning to give the Hurricanes their first run. He also dropped the bunt that loaded the bases for Miami in the seventh, through which two more Canes would score.
There were some scary moments for both teams in the contest.
Hurricanes freshman catcher Michael Amditis got hurt running to first base in the top of the fourth inning. The training staff checked on him, and he was carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. The severity of the injury is not yet known.
Amditis was replaced by senior catcher Joe Gomez.
Two FAU outfielders collided in shallow right-field in the top of the eighth. They were found to be fine and remained in the game.
Miami will face off against Dartmouth College in a three-game weekend series starting at 7 p.m. on Friday at Mark Light Field.