Hurricanes Hold Off FIU 6-4

The Miami bullpen pitched six and a third innings to hold off Florida International, 6-4, in front of 1,612 fans at University Park on the FIU campus.

"It wasn't pretty early in the game -- there were too many errors and too many walks," Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said. "Late in the game we played well. The bullpen did a very good job with (Shawn) Valdes-Fauli, (Chiqui) Chirino and George Huguet pitching well late."

Huguet pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to pick up his seventh save of the season, and tie him for third place with Danny Graves on UM's all-time save list with 29. Andrew Lane pitched 1.2 innings in relief of starter Ryan Dixon to get the win and improve his record to 2-1. Luis Gazitua took the loss for FIU, falling to 1-2 on the season.

Freshman Gaby Sanchez and Ryan Braun paced the Hurricanes offense attack with two hits apiece.

The 11th-ranked Hurricanes improved to 28-7 on the season, while Florida International fell to 28-12.

Adam Ricks hit the first home run, an inside the park shot, of his Hurricanes' career against FIU in the season opener on Feb. 5. He hit his second home run against the Golden Panthers with a first inning blast over the right field fence for a 1-0 UM lead.

Miami added four more runs in the second inning with the help of two FIU errors and three walks by starter Luis Gazitua. Danny Figueroa drove in the first run with a perfect bunt-single down the third base line to score Gaby Sanchez who had singled to lead off the inning. Ryan Braun added his 42nd RBI of the season with a single up the middle. Erick San Pedro and Joey Hooft plated the last two runs of the inning with walks.

FIU got on the board in the second inning behind two walks by Dixon, who walked in the Golden Panthers first run. FIU made it 5-2 in the third inning as a Dixon walk came around to score on a Yahmed Yema RBI single. Andrew Lane came in to replace Dixon following the single and retired the side.

The Golden Panthers loaded the bases with a walk and two bunt singles in the fourth inning and closed the UM lead to 5-3 as Bryan Pullin grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

With one out and a runner on second base in the bottom of the fifth inning, Shawn Valdes-Fauli came on to replace Andrew Lane. Lane surrendered one run on three hits in 1.2 innings. Valdes-Fauli struck out pinch hitter Adam Summerall and got Michael New to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.

UM took advantage of another FIU error in the sixth inning, scoring a run on an errant throw to third base by first baseman Michael Lopez after Ryan Braun's infield single. Figueroa scored his team-high 46th run of the season on the play after drawing a walk to lead off the inning.

Florida International got a run back in the bottom half of the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pullin. Dennis Diaz scored after leading off the inning with an infield single and advancing to second base on a throwing error by Sanchez.

With two outs and a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh inning, Morris went to the bullpen for his fifth pitcher of the night. Huguet came on for the 14th time this season and retired the side with a strikeout.

The Hurricanes return home on Friday, April 18th for a three-game series with intra-state rival Florida State at 7 p.m. The series with the second-ranked Hurricanes will continue at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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