30-18 • 11-13 ACC
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
20-28 • 7-11 BIG EAST
|W||C. Diaz (4-4)|
|L||J. Lomangino (1-4)|
|Eusebio, Fieger, Heyman, Lopez 2, Thompson 2|
|Dennis, Lauricella, Schwindel|
May 3, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Behind a well-balanced barrage from their offense and another strong start from Chris Diaz, the Miami Hurricanes captured their series opener over visiting St. John's by a final score of 12-3.
The Hurricanes (30-18) scored five of their first seven runs with two outs, registering a season-high 12 in the contest. Not to be outdone, Diaz continued a dominant personal stretch on the mound to help his team get back on the winning track in its final non-conference series.
"It was a big win for us," head coach Jim Morris said. "That's the first time we've been able to put everyone in the game and see the young guys play. We need to do that."
The southpaw, who tossed six shutout innings against the Red Storm (20-28), allowed just one hit in another impressive stint. Dating back to his April 5 start against Florida State, Diaz has allowed just one earned run over his last 37.1 innings, good for a miniscule ERA of 0.24 across those five starts.
The hosts wasted little time in opening the scoring, tagging starter James Lomangino (1-4) for two runs in the second inning to jump out to a 2-0 advantage.
With two outs in the frame, junior Brad Fieger jumpstarted the rally with a double roped into the leftfield corner. The Hurricanes then got back-to-back walks from sophomore Garrett Kennedy and freshman Brandon Lopez to load the bases. Junior Dale Carey popped an 0-1 pitch from Lomangino into the shallow infield, but third baseman Sean O'Hare was unable to handle it cleanly, scoring both Fieger and Kennedy on the play.
"Our energy was great in the dugout," said Lopez, who tied a career high with three hits. "It helps our hitting, our approaches were great to the right side. We have to keep that up throughout all the games in the series."
The Hurricanes would tack on another run in the third, as an RBI single from freshman David Thompson extended the early advantage. With senior Chantz Mack on third after a single, steal and throwing error from Red Storm catcher Danny Bethea, Thompson looped a single over the outstretched glove of shortstop Dustin Breshears into shallow leftfield.
"We got a jam sandwich over short," Coach Morris said. "We haven't had many of those lately. It's nice to see one of those fall in."
Miami blew the game open with a four-run fifth inning, sending all nine batters to the plate and connecting for five singles in the frame. A sacrifice fly from Thompson made it 4-0, while RBI singles from Brad Fieger, Brandon Lopez and Ricky Eusebio made it 7-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.
That was all Diaz would need, retiring 14 of the last 16 St. John's batters he faced to improve his personal record to 4-4. The Florida City, Fla., native allowed just three baserunners on the night, with only one reaching as far as second base in another dominant outing. Entering the game with the fourth-lowest ERA of any pitcher in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Diaz managed to lower his personal mark to 1.42 with six shutout innings.
"It makes my job easier," Diaz said of pitching with a lead. "I can go after hitters more and let my defense do the work."
Though the Red Storm connected for a run off junior reliever Adam Sargent in the top half of the seventh, Miami would strike back with five of its own in the bottom of the frame to take a 12-1 advantage. The Hurricanes sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring on an RBI single from Lopez, a bases-loaded walk from freshman Grant Heyman and three more on Red Storm defensive miscues.
A wild pitch would plate Lopez from third, while a hard-hit grounder from freshman catcher Roger Gonzalez mishandled by Brashears scored two more runs. Freshman Christopher Barr, batting for the second time in the inning, ended the explosive frame by lining out to centerfield.
"Clutch situational hitting," Morris said. "We've got to do a good job with that."
The Hurricanes will return to Alex Rodriguez Park Saturday for game two of their series with the Red Storm. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.