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Miami sweeps Virginia Tech for eighth win in a row

Bryan Radziewski was stellar on the mound Sunday, allowing just two runs in seven inning to pick up his first win since March 8th
Bryan Radziewski was stellar on the mound Sunday, allowing just two runs in seven inning to pick up his first win since March 8th

The Miami Hurricanes had never swept back-to-back ACC road series since joining the conference back in 2004.

Until now.

Miami defeated Virginia Tech 9-2 in its series finale Sunday afternoon to win its eighth game in a row and finish off the sweep in Blacksburg.

Lefthander Bryan Radziewski picked up his first win since March eighth, allowing two runs while striking out seven batters in seven innings of work. Those two runs came in the first inning before Radziewski settled in and shut the Hokies down the rest of the way.

After scoring a run in the second inning, Miami plated three more in the third to take a 4-2 lead it would never relinquish. After Tyler Palmer led off with a single, he stole second and advanced to third on a poor relay throw by Virginia Tech. He then scored on a wild pitch by starter Jon Woodcock to tie the game at 2-2.

That wasn’t all that went wrong for Woodcock in the third. Freshman Zack Collins reached second on a throwing error and then proceeded to third on the poor relay. Brad Fieger then drove Collins in with an RBI groundout to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead.

Woodcock then surrendered a double to freshman Sebastian Diaz and followed that up with a walk to Johnny Ruiz before being pulled after only 2.2 innings of work. Brandon Lopez then scored Diaz with a single off reliever Aaron McGarity to put Miami ahead 4-2. The Hurricanes scored five more insurance runs in the ninth to win their eighth straight, their longest winning streak of the season.

The series didn’t begin as easily for Miami on Friday night as the Hurricanes had to fight back from a five-run deficit in the eighth inning to win 8-7 to take game one in dramatic fashion.

Miami trailed 7-2 entering the eighth before scoring four runs to pull within a run. Collins and Brad Zunica each hit RBI singles to make it 7-5 and Lopez followed them with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-6.

After A.J. Salcines and Cooper Hammond pitched a scoreless eighth, Miami’s bats stayed hot in the ninth. After Dale Carey walked with one out, Palmer hit a double to leftfield to score Carey and tie the game 7-7. Collins then delivered another RBI single to score Palmer and finish off the comeback. Closer Bryan Garcia picked up his eighth save of the season with a scoreless bottom half of the inning.

Collins continued to be red hot at the plate for the Hurricanes all weekend, driving in a total of five runs over the three-game set to bring his RBI total to a team-leading 27 for the season.

After driving in two runs in the series opener, he drove in another in Saturday’s 4-3 win with an RBI single in the first inning. Fieger also had an RBI single in the second and Ruiz plated another run in the third with an RBI groundout that gave Miami a 3-0 lead.

Virginia Tech picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning but Miami got it back in the seventh when Fieger scored on a wild pitch from reliever Sean Kennedy.

Miami starter Andrew Suarez continued to pitch fantastic on the other hand, tossing 7.2 innings before being pulled in the eighth after giving up a two-run home run to Brendon Hayden that cut the Hurricanes’ lead to 4-3. Suarez improved his record to 4-1 on the season and has surrendered just seven combined runs in his last five starts. Garcia also threw a spotless ninth for his ninth save of the season.

Next up for the Hurricanes will be the UCF Knights in Orlando Wednesday night before heading home for a three-game series with Pittsburgh beginning Friday. Miami lost to UCF at home earlier this season 9-2.

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