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Zack Collins leads Miami to sweep of No. 25 N.C. State

Zack Collins hits two home runs and drove in six RBI to help Miami sweep N.C. State
Zack Collins hits two home runs and drove in six RBI to help Miami sweep N.C. State

The Miami Hurricanes had been struggling as of late, losing two straight ACC series and five of their last eight games, dropping them out of Baseball America’s top 25 in the process. They were in need of a big series win, and they got exactly that this weekend.

After struggling for a better part of the season, Miami freshman Zack Collins knocked a pair of home runs and drove in a six RBI as the Hurricanes defeated No. 25 N.C. State 12-5 on Sunday for a series sweep in Raleigh.

“It's great to see him come through,” head coach Jim Morris told HurricaneSports. “He had a great fall, and we all knew he could swing the bat. It's nice to see him start coming alive for us.”

Miami had one of its best offensive outputs of the season, combining for 14 hits, three by Collins, and scored eight runs over the final three innings to soar to victory.

The Wolfpack led 5-4 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth before the Hurricanes ran away with the game. After tying the game in the seventh, Miami plated four runs in the eighth thanks to an RBI double by Garrett Kennedy and a three-run shot by Collins that gave the Hurricanes a 9-5 lead. Kennedy added another RBI double in the ninth and Brandon Lopez drove in two more runs with a single to finish off N.C. State and finish off the sweep for Miami.

“It was a great game, and our guys swung the bat well,” Morris said. “It was a good game for us, and a big weekend sweep.”

The series began under stormy skies and was suspended because of weather but Miami won the game 2-1 when play resumed Saturday. Tied 1-1, Miami finally took the lead in the eighth when Collins hit a sacrifice fly to score Brad Fieger and give the Hurricanes a 2-1 advantage. Freshman Cooper Hammond then pitched a scoreless ninth for his career-first save.

The Hurricanes also won 2-1 on Saturday behind a fantastic pitching performance by Andrew Suarez, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before giving up a hit with two outs.

Dale Carey scored the game’s first run with a solo home run, his fifth of the season. He then doubled to lead off the sixth and Willie Abreu hit a one-out RBI single to score Carey and give Miami a 2-0 lead.

Suarez lost his shutout in the eighth when Brett Austin hit a solo home run but Bryan Garcia threw a scoreless ninth for his seventh save of the season.

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