In the weeks leading up to this season, head coach Gino DiMare lauded his pitching staff, especially his Friday night starter, senior Brian Van Belle.
In just his third start of the season, Van Belle posted a career high 14 strikeouts in Miami’s 2-1 win over Towson Friday night at Mark Light Field.
Despite posting a high pitch count through the first five innings, Van Belle settled in and managed to make it through seven innings with 105 pitches. The redshirt senior gave up three hits and walked one batter. Van Belle’s 14 strikeouts were the most by a Miami pitcher since 2013.
“He is just the same guy,” DiMare said. “He throws a lot of strikes. It’s interesting his pitch count got up there, in the fifth inning he had 80 pitches. He has been outstanding.”
“Right off the bat, I just wanted to establish command on my fastball and stick to my same approach as I have every game,” Van Belle said. “Obviously in the first inning that first batter probably, I don’t even know how many pitches it was, but it was probably like 10 pitches. I wanted to remain efficient throughout my start and thankfully I put the team in the best position to win. Feels good, obviously its a big role, you have to set the tone for the entire weekend.”
Miami’s bats, however, were not nearly as stellar as its starting pitching. Both Miami (6-3) and Towson’s (2-5) offenses were nonexistent for the first four innings of the game, until Miami second baseman Luis Tuero hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning that gave Miami a 1-0 lead. Leadoff hitter and left fielder Jordan Lala doubled that total with an RBI single to make the score 2-0.
Tuero made just his second start this season at second base and has accounted for four RBI’s in Miami’s past two games.
“Just feels good to spark up the lineup,” Tuero said. “Just trying to do the best I can and every opportunity I can to score some runs for our team and put us in the best position to win games.”
With just five total hits as a team, DiMare is concerned about his team’s hitting.
“Concerned is the right word I guess,” DiMare said. “We are not giving the at-bats we need to give as a lineup, so we are going to have to do a better job of figuring it out offensively because its too many games here where we haven’t really swung the bat the way we need to swing the bat.”
Adrian Del Castillo, Miami’s preseason All-American, who came into the game batting .560, went 0-4 with one strikeout. Raymond Gil, Wednesday night’s hero, went 0-3 with two strikeouts and one walk, and is now batting .194.
After Van Belle, senior Tyler Keysor, who struggled in Wednesday’s game against USF, came in to relieve in the eight inning and struck out two batters while not giving up any runs.
Freshman Carson Palmquist came in to close out the game in the ninth inning. The freshman gave up an RBI double to Towson’s designated hitter Burke Camper and was replaced by Federman with two outs. Federman earned his second save of the season after securing the last out of the game.
Miami will play Towson Saturday night at Mark Light Field for the second game of the weekend series. First pitch is schedule for 7 p.m.