Because Maine returned to the starting rotation, freshman pitcher Eric Erickson moved back to the bullpen—strengthening a group that lost two games for Miami last week.
Maine and Erickson combined to allow just four hits and three walks the entire night as the fifth ranked Hurricanes beat the eleventh ranked UCLA Bruins 1-0.
"This win was very big for us because of the fact that we have a lot of young guys on the team," Morris said. "I guarantee you Eric Erickson feels pretty good right now. We beat an outstanding team right now that is going to be in the NCAA tournament."
Miami (1-2) entered the game reeling from their two losses from last week's series versus Mercer in which the young bullpen allowed a total of ten runs.
Erickson, a freshman left hand pitcher from Sarasota, made the first appearance of his Miami career in the sixth inning and was tested early. Erickson had runners on second and third with one out as he faced the heart of the UCLA (2-2) lineup in the sixth inning.
Erickson struck out the next batter and forced pinch hitter Will Penniall to pop-out to leftfield.
In the ninth inning, Erickson faced pinch hitter Brady Dolan with two outs and a runner on third base. Erickson clinched Miami's first victory of the season by striking Dolan out with his fastball.
"There was a lot of pressure on me pitching with a one-run lead, but that was exactly the situation I wanted to be in," Erickson said.
Miami scored their only run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Yonder Alonso, scoring Blake Tekotte from third base.
Maine gave up his first hit in the fourth inning—a line drive triple by Weisser down the right field line with no outs, but Maine forced two of the next three batters into infield ground-outs, while striking out the third batter to end the inning without giving up a run.
"I had problems locating the first pitch to every batter, but I was able to battle through it and get guys out," Maine said. "My curveball and changeup was working, so after those first pitches I was able to sport my pitches."
Maine threw 73 pitches in five innings allowing zero runs, two hits, one walk, while striking out five.
Maine forced a lot of ground-outs, which were due primarily to the one-seam fastball he has been developing this offseason.
"My one-seam fastball was working pretty well, I threw that for most of my pitches," Maine said. "It is either my one-seam or my change-up that gets the ground balls."
In the sixth inning, Miami had an opportunity to extend their lead, with Raben and Alonso on second and third base and one out, but the next two batters Sobolewski and Menendez both struckout to end the inning.
UCLA pitcher Tyson Brummett threw an impressive 118 pitches in 7.2 innings allowing one run, three hits, and four walks while striking out eight.
"Their pitcher was dealing on us tonight," Alonso said. "He is a great athlete who has great control of his curveball and he could spot his fastball whenever he wanted. He kept the game close and it turned out to be a scrappy game that we were able to pull out."
Miami pitcher Danny Gil will get the start Saturday night at 7 PM as the Hurricanes look for their second win of the season.
David Lake can be reached at email@example.com
Canes Beat #11 UCLA, 1-0
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