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Stetson Athletics | March 12, 2014

Stetson defeats No. 22 Miami (Fla.) for first time in 17 years

DeLAND, Fla. -- Stetson scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for a 7-3 win against No. 22 Miami (Fla,) on Wednesday at Melching Field.

The win is the first for Stetson against the Hurricanes since 1997.

After Miami (10-7) tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the top of the seventh, the Hatters (6-12) sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the inning and collected five hits, matching the total they had the previous night in a 6-1 loss to No. 5 NC State.

“I thought we competed real well tonight,” head coach Pete Dunn said. “I’m proud of the way we came back. They tied it and we didn’t roll over. We battled right back.”

Patrick Mazeika started the rally with a one-out single. After he moved to second on a wild pitch, the Hurricanes intentionally walked Josh Powers. Garrett Russini pinch-hit for Wade McNabb and lined a 3-1 pitch off the wall in left field for a double, scoring Mazeika for a 4-3 lead.

Darby McCormick pinch hit for Kyle Zech and bounced a double past Miami third baseman Edgar Michelangeli, scoring both Powers and Russini for a 6-3 lead. After a Kyle Pitts single put runners on the corners, Robert Bruce chopped an infield single to score McCormick for a 7-3 advantage.

“We competed on the mound, we competed at the plate,” Dunn said. “We came back with four runs right after Miami tied it, and that’s what I was most proud of. Instead of letting our head hang, we came right back.”

Stetson has struggled to score runs early in games all season, but Wednesday was a different story. The Hatters loaded the bases with one out in the second, and Jake Pequignot’s double scored all three runners as the Hatters took an early 3-0 lead.

Senior left-hander Austin Perez started for the Hatters and turned in his second straight outstanding performance against a nationally-ranked opponent. One week after holding No. 1 South Carolina without a run for six innings, Perez limited Miami to just two runs in the first six frames Wednesday.

Miami scored its first two runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Willie Abreu and a run-scoring double by Brad Fieger.

The Hurricanes tied the game in the seventh. Trey Norris (1-0) relieved Perez with two outs and a runner on third and surrendered an RBI single to Fieger.

Overall, Perez went 6.2 innings and scattered 10 hits while striking out four batters and walking two.

“AP gave us another great start tonight,” Dunn said. “He still doesn’t have a win to show for it, but that’s two awfully good starts back-to-back against the No.1 team in the nation and the No. 13 team in the nation.”

Josh Thorne tossed two perfect innings of relief for his first save this season.

Stetson totaled 10 hits, but only Russini (2-2) had more than one.

Four different Hurricanes had two hits each as part of an 11-hit attack.

Daniel Sayles (0-1) took the loss for Miami.

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