Miami (Fla.) upends No. 5 Florida State in game two, heads to rubber match
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami (Fla.) evened its rivalry series with fifth-ranked Florida State on Saturday at Alex Rodriguez Park, capturing game two of the weekend set by a final score of 6-0.
Behind another dominant start from southpaw Bryan Radziewski, Miami (21-13, 6-8 ACC) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Seminoles and forced a rubber match for Sunday's series finale. The victory marked Miami's third this season against a team ranked in the top 10.
Radziewski, who entered Saturday's matchup ranked second in the conference with an earned run average of less than one, managed to lower his ERA with seven shutout innings. Radziewski (4-1) scattered four hits and three walks, fanning eight batters and lowering his season ERA to 0.78 in the victory.
“I was able to locate everything," Radziewski said. "I was throwing my fastball for strikes, my slider, my curveball. Luckily this year I have a change up and that helps a ton.”
The Hurricanes struck first for the second consecutive game against their in-state rivals, tagging Seminole starter Brandon Leibrandt for three singles and a run in the game's first inning. Freshman first baseman Christopher Barr led off the action with a base hit up the middle, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Alex Hernandez.
Senior Chantz Mack then roped a single of his own up the middle plating Barr from second to open the game's scoring. Senior Alex San Juan also connected for a single in the frame.
After dropping a bunt in the first inning, Hernandez connected on his first career home run with two outs in the third. He delivered a towering solo shot over the left field fence on a 2-1 offering from Leibrandt, helping the hosts take a 2-0 lead.
Junior Tyler Palmer extended Miami's lead to three with a two-out RBI single an inning later. With senior Alex San Juan on second (single, steal) and junior Dale Carey on first (walk), Palmer ripped a single up the middle that forced a close play at the plate. A crafty slide from San Juan around the tag of Seminoles' catcher Stephen McGee saw Miami increase its advantage to 3-0.
That was all Radziewski needed, as he cruised through the middle innings of the game. He ended his night after seven innings and 127 pitches and 74 strikes, improving his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 49-8.
Miami blew the game open in the fifth, chasing Leibrandt out of the game after just 4.0+ innings of work. Barr led off the frame by reaching base once again, drawing a four-pitch walk. After Hernandez reached via bunt single, Leibrandt was pulled in favor of reliever Brandon Johnson. Johnson intentionally walked San Juan to force an out at any base, but plunked Michael Broad with the bases loaded to force in a run.
Freshman David Thompson then ripped a two-RBI single up the middle, plating both Hernandez and San Juan, as Miami opened up a 6-0 advantage.
Senior Eric Whaley pitched two scoreless innings in relief, sealing Miami's first shutout of Florida State since April 16, 2004 in Tallahassee. After dropping game one in heartbreaking fashion, the Hurricanes have a chance to clinch their second series against a team ranked in the top 25.
“We had a team meeting [Friday], and this is a new season," Radziewski said. "We lost on Wednesday, we forgot about it. I’ve forgotten about everything that happened in the first 20 or so games. We’re 1-1 right now, and that’s all we care about.”
The Hurricanes will return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Sunday for the series finale of their three-game set with Florida State.