Jim Morris, former Tech and current UM coach, visited Russ Chandler for the final time as Miami 12-12 (6-3) faced off with Tech 14-11 (3-6). The Yellow Jackets were able to get an easy 6-1 victory in Game 1.
The ‘Canes swept visiting UVA last weekend, but lost to FGCU on Wednesday. They feature the ACC’s lowest ERA pitching and boast four shutouts thus far. They seem to have the most trouble with other Florida teams, going 2-6 so far.
Xzavion Curry started again for Tech versus senior LHP Jeb Bargfeldt (2-2, 2.95). Bargfeldt had started the second game versus Tech last year and pitched six innings with one earned run and no decision. Curry had suffered his first loss last year on Friday with five earned runs in four innings. This night would be far more successful for Xzavion and the Jackets.
Bargfeldt was rolling in the first with two quick outs when Kyle McCann singled and Tristin English put a ball just over the right field wall for a 2-0 early lead. But the ‘Canes struck back with one run on three singles in their second, stranding runners on the corners when Curry got a final strike out.
The Jackets got the run back in the bottom of the second, but possibly at a heavy price. Luke Waddell made it all the way to third on a bouncer the first baseman misplayed, but pulled up lame and had to be replaced by Oscar Serratos. Michael Guldberg drove in Serratos on a blooper that fell in for a double. Waddell’s status is uncertain.
Tech added another run in their third, but it came on Colin Hall’s double play grounder after they loaded the bases with no outs, so a big inning opportunity was missed. They missed another chance in their fourth when Serratos led off with a double, was bunted to third, and stayed there through groundouts by Chase Murray and Joey Bart.
McCann led off the Tech fifth with a liner that hit Bargfeldt’s pitching arm, but he stayed in the game. McCann later went to third on Wade Bailey’s double and scored on a Hall groundout to make it 5-1 after five innings.
Michael Mediavilla, a senior LHP, relieved for Miami in the sixth. The Jackets once again stranded a base runner at third after Guldberg and Bart singled.
English led off the Tech seventh by hitting Mediavilla with a liner, but he also stayed in through two outs, when he was relieved by redshirt senior RHP Cooper Hammond, a submarine style pitcher to face Austin Wilhite with Hall on first. He got Wilhite on a sinking liner that the center fielder made a nice place on to keep it 5-1 as Curry came back for the 8th. He retired the Hurricanes in order, notching his career high 11th and 12th strikeouts in a masterful performance.
Miami went to freshman lefty reliever Jeremy Cook when Tech sent Baron Radcliff to pinch hit with one out in the Tech 8th. He got Radcliff on a fly out to deepest center, but then gave up singles to Murray and Bart and hit McCann and English to make it 6-1 before he improbably struck out Bailey, stranding the bases loaded as Jared Datoc came in for Tech.
Willy Escala had a perfect bunt single to lead off, but a liner to Murray in right and a double play grounder to Wilhite ended the game, with Datoc only having to throw six pitches. Curry improved to 6-0 and Bargfeldt fell to 2-3. Tech is now 15-11 (4-6) and Miami 12-13 (6-4).