It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But it was a win nonetheless.
The No. 15 Miami Hurricanes held on for a 2-1 victory over FAU Wednesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park to extend their winning streak to 13 games. It is the nation’s longest current winning streak and Miami’s longest since 2008, when it won 14 in a row.
“With our streak, every win is a big win because it’s great to continue that streak,” Miami coach Jim Morris said. “Our pitchers pitched very well, not just Javi [Salas], but everybody in the bullpen threw well. You have to credit our pitching staff.”
Starting pitcher Javi Salas helped Miami avenge a 5-2 to FAU back on Feb. 19. The senior threw five scoreless innings while scattering four hits and striking out four Owls, lowering his season ERA to 2.70. Salas got plenty of help from his defense though, which turned four double plays to keep FAU scoreless during those five innings.
“I honestly didn't have very good stuff,” Salas said. “I was battling the whole night with myself. I didn't have much control. I was very fortunate to get some double play balls. My defense played great behind me - that's what I relied on today.”
While Salas’s defense picked him up throughout the night his offense struggled mightily at the plate. Miami (26-12, 14-4) drew seven walks but only managed four hits the entire night, all of which came in the first three innings. The Hurricanes got on the scoreboard on a two-out double from freshman Johnny Ruiz in the second inning that gave Miami a 2-0 lead and luckily the only runs it would need.
“Tonight we struggled a little bit, but we've been getting big hits when we needed to,” Ruiz said. “I have to thank my teammates for getting on base and putting me in the situation to be able to drive them in.”
After Salas left the game in the sixth, relievers Thomas Woodrey and Cooper Hammond held off the Owls and allowed just one hit through the next three innings. As a result, Miami entered the ninth with a 2-0 lead despite leaving nine runners on base.
Bryan Garcia entered the ninth to close out the game for Miami but ran into trouble. He surrendered three hits and allowed FAU to cut into the lead with an RBI single by Jose Bonilla Traverso before he struck out Esteban Puerto to end the game and escape with his 11th save of the season.
Miami will be back in action this weekend when it hosts Notre Dame for a three-game series beginning Saturday night at 7 PM.