CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Behind another strong pitching performance from Steven Ewing and a season-high nine-run inning, the University of Miami easily took care of USF, 14-5, on Wednesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park. Michael Broad sparked the offense with his second grand slam of the season to break the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The win was the Canes’ 14th in 16 games, as the team improves to 28-13 heading into the much-anticipated series against Florida State this weekend in Coral Gables.
Ewing (7-1, 2.49 ERA) went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and striking out four to earn the win on Wednesday. The lefty was in control throughout, picking up his seventh consecutive victory in as many outings – dating back to the March 1 contest against USF in Tampa.
The outcome of the game was in doubt early-on as Ewing and two USF pitchers battled to a 2-2 tie through five and a half innings. However, Miami (28-13) broke the contest open in the bottom of the sixth with nine runs on seven hits, with a season-high 13 batters coming to the plate. The frame was highlighted by Broad’s grand slam.
Nathan Melendres led off the sixth inning with a walk, followed by Rony Rodriguez getting hit by a pitch attempting to bunt. Brad Fieger then laid down a bunt to the third-base side, reaching on a throwing error from USF (19-21) pitcher Jimmy Moran.
Broad took advantage immediately, crushing the grand slam to the power alley in left to clear the bases. He also hit a grand slam against UCF – adding an unofficial grand slam against the Florida Marlins in an exhibition game in February.
The Canes were not done in the inning, collecting five singles and a double to end the frame to finish with a season-best nine-run inning. The nine runs was the second time in the last four games that UMiami has scored eight or more runs in an inning – also doing so with eight against UNC last Saturday in the 10th at Chapel Hill.
Jimmy Moran (3-1) took the loss for the Bulls who defeated the Canes, 4-2, at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on March 1 as part of the annual “Florida Four”.
Fieger led the Canes at the plate Wednesday night, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Broad also went 2-for-5 with two runs and five RBIs. Cade Kreuter, enjoying his birthday on the evening, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run in a last-minute switch with junior Harold Martinez who was pulled from the lineup while feeling ill.
Todd Brazeal and Peter Brotons each homered for the visiting Bulls.
Miami went on to plate three more in the eighth inning, with the Bulls answering with two in the top of the ninth to wrap up the scoring for the night.