Coral Gables, Fla. • Mark Light Field
|W||D. Beauprez (1-0)|
|L||Z. Tillery (1-2)|
|Collins, Z. (5), Ruiz, J. (2)|
|Collins, Z. (12), Hernandez, A. (10), Lopez, B. (12), Kennedy, G. (10)|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami received five strong innings from righthander Derik Beauprez, Zack Collins delivered his second straight three-hit game in an offensive barrage, and the Hurricanes captured a 4-0 win over visiting Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday night.
Beauprez (1-0) allowed just two hits and one walk in 5.0 innings. He also struck out a career-high four batters, needing just 65 pitches to get through five efficient frames.
"My biggest problem was not throwing first-pitch strikes," Beauprez said. "[Pitching coach] J.D. [Arteaga] and the other pitchers talked to me about making sure I got ahead. The most important pitch to throw is the first strike."
The Cherry Hills Village, Colo., native, who made his first start in a 5-2 extra-innings win over the Eagles last Wednesday, said he took a different approach in his first home start at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
"I've been waiting for this kind of opportunity," Beauprez said. "I've been throwing it down a lot, and J.D. has been working with me a lot to not focus on throwing all strikes, but to throw to contact."
Miami (14-12) opened the scoring for the third consecutive game, getting a run in the bottom of the first on Zack Collins' RBI double. Collins, who entered the contest hitting .412 over his last five games, continued his hot streak at the plate with his fifth double of the season. The hit plated senior Dale Carey (single) and sent freshman Willie Abreu (walk) to third base with just one out.
But with two runners in scoring position, senior Brad Fieger struck out and Abreu was thrown out at third by Florida Gulf Coast catcher Andrew Valencia to keep Miami's lead at just 1-0.
The Hurricanes would add to their lead in the fourth, when freshman Johnny Ruiz - make his sixth consecutive start at third base - led off with a double into the leftfield corner. An RBI single from senior Alex Hernandez and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Lopez saw the Hurricanes take a 3-0 lead over the Eagles (16-9) into the fifth inning.
With the way Miami pitchers were throwing, that was all the Hurricanes would need. Beauprez, sophomore Thomas Woodrey and freshman Cooper Hammond combined to allow just two hits and two walks throughout nine innings of work. No Florida Gulf Coast batter reached as far as second base, and the Eagles whiffed eight times against Miami pitchers.
After junior Garrett Kennedy increased Miami's lead to 4-0 with an RBI single in the sixth, senior Tyler Palmer continued a recent streak of defensive web gems with a home run-robbing grab against the leftfield fence. The outfielder timed his leap perfectly, snaring a would-be home run from FGCU slugger Michael Suchy and earning a standing ovation from the crowd of 2,464.
"It's a big win for the team," Beauprez said. "We all played well - it was a great team win. We can always build off wins like this."
Collins and Ruiz paced the offense with three-hit games, while senior Dale Carey added a 2-for-4 performance. Both freshman Willie Abreu and Collins reached base, extending their streaks to six and seven games, respectively.
Miami out-hit Florida Gulf Coast 12-2 on the night.
Beauprez said team chemistry has been key in staying positive during a recent difficult stretch.
"Ever since the fall and leading into the spring before the season started, we really bonded as a team," Beauprez said. "I got here early this summer, and the whole team really helped me out. We really play for each other."
The Hurricanes return to the diamond Friday, March 28 at Doak Field for a matchup with No. 25 NC State. First pitch for the series opener, set to be broadcast on ESPN3, is set for 6 p.m.
Season tickets to Miami’s 2014 season at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field start for as low as $99, with a Family Plan option (two adult tickets, three youth tickets) covering all home games available for just $199. For more information, visit CanesTix.com or call (305) 284-2263.