baseball-d1 flag

Miami (Fla.) Athletics | March 22, 2014

Miami (Fla.) takes down Virginia, Morris notches 900th win

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Freshman slugger Zack Collins connected on a two-run home run to break a tie game in the sixth inning, and No. 25 Miami topped No. 3 Virginia 7-1 in head coach Jim Morris' 900th win at the helm of the Hurricanes.

"I thought it was a complete team effort," Morris said. "Our team played exceptional defense, we got really good pitching, and of course we scored some runs."

Despite the big hit from Collins, a matchup featuring two of the premier lefthanders in the ACC -- Miami's Chris Diaz and Virginia's Nathan Kirby -- did not disappoint. Offense was stymied for most of the night, as the two teams combined for just three hits -- all singles -- through the game's first five innings.

After going ahead 3-1, Miami (13-10, 5-2 ACC) tacked on four insurance runs in the eighth, while Bryan Garcia recorded his sixth save of the season with 1.2 clean innings of relief.

Down 1-0 on an infield RBI single from Nick Howard in the top half of the sixth, Miami rallied for three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-1 lead. An RBI groundout from Willie Abreu tied the game 1-1, and Collins' fourth homer of the year -- a mammoth blast off Kirby over the fence in rightfield -- gave Miami the lead. The home run was the fourth for Collins and first allowed this season by Kirby, whose scoreless streak was snapped at 26.1 innings.

"2-0 count in a tie ballgame, I'm trying to put the ball off the bat hard," Collins said of his home run swing. "You try to hit it as hard as you can everytime. I just made a great connection."

When asked if he knew the ball would clear the fence, Collins smiled.

"Oh yeah, I knew it."

Virginia put together a scoring opportunity in the eighth, but a breathtaking catch from senior Dale Carey, who sprinted towards the wall and fully extended to haul in a deep fly ball from Howard, helped Garcia work out of the jam. The incredible defensive play from Carey earned a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd of 3,337.

"I just remember he hit it, I was running, and at the last second I realized I had a chance," Carey said. "Me and Willie were both going into the gap at the same time, I called 'ball' and I laid out."

Morris added further praise for his star centerfielder, who finished the night 1-for-5 at the plate.

"That catch might be the best catch I have ever seen," he said. "That was huge. If that ball drops, the game is tied."

After a disappointing start last time out against Georgia Tech, Diaz (5-1) rebounded with a terrific performance against one of the top offenses in the conference. He set down the first 10 Cavaliers batters on the night, and did not allow a hit until an infield single to Daniel Pinero in the fourth. After Diaz walked Virginia slugger Mike Papi to put two runners on base, the southpaw induced a 6-4-3 double play from Virginia first baseman Nick Howard to end the threat.

"It was a huge win for us [against] one of the top five teams in the country," Diaz said. "To be able to take the opening [game] puts us in a good place tomorrow. ...We played really well."

Diaz said he entered the start with confidence, despite getting tagged for five runs against the Yellow Jackets.

"In the bullpen, I felt all my pitches were working," he said. "I went into the game confident that I could throw every pitch for a strike, and that's what happened tonight."

The lefthander went a season high-tying 7.1 innings in the outing, scattering five hits and just one run. Senior Alex Hernandez nearly saved that lone Virginia run with a web gem in the sixth, fielding a high chopper and firing to first an instant after Nick Howard reached the base. Kenny Towns scored all the way from second on the play to put the Cavaliers ahead 1-0.

Collins broke the 1-1 deadlock in the sixth. He finished the game 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, as Miami tagged Virginia starter Nathan Kirby (5-1) for season-high totals of five hits and three runs.

"It's an amazing feeling every time you hit a home run or even get a hit," Collins said. "For a guy to be going out there and to be pitching his butt off trying to win this game - he's out there for six innings and we haven't scored a run. To pick him up like that, it felt amazing."

A two-RBI double from Brandon Lopez and a sacrifice fly from Garrett Kennedy helped Miami pad its lead to 7-1 by the ninth inning.

College football rankings: AP Poll preseason release date, Top 25 poll information

With the AP Top 25 preseason poll out, here is a look at some expectations for the 2019 season and the historical significance of the AP Preseason Poll.

Florida vs. Miami: All-time series history, scores, notable games

Florida and Miami, in-state rivals who once played every year, will face off for the first time since 2013 on Aug. 24. Here is what you need to know about the programs' head-to-head history.

Jarren Williams selected as Miami football's starting quarterback

Miami's newly selected starting quarterback, Jarren Williams, hopes to pull the Hurricanes out from their worst passing season in 11 years.
Division I
College World Series
June 13-23/24, 2020
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners