Baseball: Canes complete the sweep

There is a school of thought that says that a true test for any team is how well they respond when they are faced with adversity. If that's true, the Miami Hurricanes are passing that test with flying colors.

Three weeks ago, the Hurricanes dropped the last two games of their home series against the Virginia Cavaliers in disappointing fashion. They held leads in both games, but ultimately let them slip away in each case. It was a tough way to end a series that they very easily could have won, or even swept.

Since then, they haven't lost. They've won eight games in a row, most recently sweeping the Virginia Tech Hokies on the road this past weekend.

This series had a little bit of everything if you are a Hurricanes fan.

On Friday, things looked pretty bleak early on. Chris Diaz wasn't himself, as he gave up five hits, four walks and four runs in just four innings. Miami was trailing 4-1 after just three innings of play and ultimately ended up trailing 7-2 heading to the eighth inning.

All they did then was score four in the eighth and two in the ninth to take an 8-7 lead that closer Bryan Garcia was able to make stand up. The biggest offensive star for Miami was freshman Zack Collins. He went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Dale Carey, Tyler Palmer, and Willie Abreu also had two hits. Brad Zunica also deserves a ton of credit. He came up with a huge two-RBI hit late in the game. Considering his lack of consistent playing time of late, that's no small feat.

It may not seem like a big deal, but A.J. Salcines' scoreless inning of work with two strikeouts was nice to see. With all of his pronounced struggles over the last two seasons, any positive when it comes to Salcines is big. I don't want to make too much of any single win over the course of a long season, but the win on Friday night had the feeling of the type of win that could be a catalyst leading to bigger things for this team.

I imagine Saturday's 4-3 win is just like Jim Morris would have drawn it up for his team. He got great starting pitching, his offense took advantage of some mistakes from the opposition, and the back of the bullpen shut things down when the Hokies tried to rally.

It all started with starting pitcher Andrew Suarez. He continues to be everything the Hurricanes could have asked for. He gave up eight hits and three runs over 7.2 innings pitched. After he exited, Cooper Hammond and Bryan Garcia finished it off without further damage.

The offense wasn't great, but they were opportunistic. The Hokies defense made two errors and the Hurricanes made them both count. Brad Fieger was the obvious standout, as he had half of the team's six hits, while also scoring a run and driving one in as well.

On Sunday, Miami left no doubt and blew Virginia Tech off the field by the score of 9-2.

The offense certainly did their part in this one, but the star has to be Bryan Radziewski. After a series of shaky starts over the last several weeks, B-Rad was nails, throwing seven innings, giving up eight hits and two runs with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Offensively, the attack was a total team effort. Only one Hurricanes hitter, Brandon Lopez, had multiple hits, but eight different Hurricanes had a hit. And they once again took advantage of some shoddy Virginia Tech defense, as four of their nine runs were unearned.

Looking ahead, it's no time to let off the gas, as Miami will play on the road against UCF this Wednesday. After getting off to something of a slow start to the season, including a seven-game losing streak at one point, the Golden Knights have gotten hot. Coming into the game, they will have won 11 of their last 12 games, including a 9-2 win over the Hurricanes back on March 18th.


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