Evan McKendry continues to tear up opposing lineups. The sophomore, who entered the game with the highest strikeout-per-nine innings ratio among all starting pitchers in the ACC, tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in seven shutout innings to lead Miami to a 1-0 win over No. 24 Virginia March 24 at Mark Light Field.
McKendry (4-2, 2.04 ERA) allowed just three hits while throwing a career-high 114 pitches in a pitchers’ duel against Daniel Lynch (2-3), who pitched seven strong innings of his own. The Hurricanes (11-11, 5-3 ACC) secured a series win and will have a chance for their first sweep of the Cavaliers (13-9, 3-5 ACC) since 2008.
Miami junior Frankie Bartow pitched two scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season following McKendry’s dominant performance.
Junior Romy Gonzalez drove in the only run of the game for Miami, tripling in the bottom of the second inning to score Isaac Quiñones on a bizarre sequence. There were two outs, and Gonzalez’s hit looked like a routine fly out, but Virginia’s Charlie Cody lost the ball in the lights, allowing Quiñones to score from first base.
It was one of the few blunders for Lynch, who scattered eight hits while striking out 11 batters.
Virginia’s lack of offensive production
Virginia had just three hits and did not score.
But the key was the Cavaliers had few chances to score. They never got a runner to third base and only got a runner in scoring position to twice. A third inning, two-out single by Justin Novak, followed by a hit-by-pitch for Andy Weber set up one of the scoring opportunities, but Caleb Knight struck out.
Knight led off in the sixth inning with a single and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice to first base. But that would be as close as the visitors would get to an equalizer for the rest of the night, as Alex Tappen flied out and Cody stuck out.
Balanced Canes lineup
Miami totaled ten hits, and eight different batters recorded at least one.
Gonzalez recorded two hits and was the only player on either team to record an extra-base hit – notching a second-inning triple to go along with a fifth-inning double.
Gonzalez, known for being a power hitter, came into the game hitting just .194, so his productive outing was much needed and a good sign for the team.
Miami now sits at .500 heading into the series finale. Hurricanes’ Andrew Cabezas will take the hill for a 1 p.m. first pitch March 25 back at Mark Light Field.