June 1, 2014

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Radziewski Blanks Bethune-Cookman

By David Furones

Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com



CORAL GABLES, Fla. — One down. Two to go.


After No. 11 Miami was shut out in a Saturday night loss to Texas Tech, the top-seeded Hurricanes knew they would need to win three consecutive games to come out of the Coral Gables Regional.


Behind a complete-game shutout from senior left-hander Bryan Radziewski and a two-home run, five-RBI performance from freshman No. 3 hitter Zack Collins, the Hurricanes (43-18) got one step closer with a 10-0 win over fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.


Radziewski struck out nine and allowed just three hits and two walks. For a team that needs to win a second game Sunday and then win again Monday to advance, it was ideal that the Hurricanes only used one arm.


“It’s exactly what the doctor ordered, what you need in this situation in the losers’ bracket when you get a complete game to save your pitching for, hopefully, two more games,” Miami coach Jim Morris said.


Added Radziewski: “I knew what I had to do. I had to save the bullpen. I just tried to make it a quick game, so we can get ready for Game 2.”


The Hurricanes grabbed a bite to eat and change uniforms for a 7 p.m. game against Texas Tech with the season on the line again.


Radziewski retired 11 in a row from the second through the fifth inning. He faced the minimum until the sixth, struck out the side in the eighth and allowed only one Wildcat reached second base.


“I knew I just had it after that first inning,” he said. “I had command of all my pitches. I threw one ball on an 0-2 count. I was putting everything where I wanted.”


Radziewski was ahead to most hitters he faced. When he fell behind, he would recover by throwing off-speed pitches to hitters sitting on the fastball.


“That’s why it’s so effective,” Bethune-Cookman coach Jason Beverlin said. “He can command [his slurve], get back in the count with his off-speed. Makes it tough, no doubt about it. He did a great job with that, and then threw his fastball.”


The Miami bats were revitalized. The Hurricanes offense scored 10 runs on 14 hits after being held to one run on 10 hits in their first two games of the Regional.


Morris hopes it will transition into momentum for the night cap against Texas Tech.


“We haven’t scored but one run in two games, and that was on a wild pitch, so that’s a crazy ordeal,” he says. “To get our confidence going offensively is very important.”


Collins hit and a two-run opposite field home run to left in the sixth and a three-run bomb to right in the top of the ninth, the 10th and 11th of his freshman campaign.


“This was a game [where our season] was on the line, and we had to score some runs and give [Radziewski] some support,” Collins said.


The Hurricanes scored twice in the second. Catcher Garrett Kennedy, getting the start in a day game after a night game, singled home a run in his first at-bat of the Regional. Dale Carey, who left seven men on base against Texas Tech Saturday night, doubled down the right-field line to drive in another in a two-out situation with two men on to drive in the third Hurricanes run.


Miami scored its first run on an errant throw to first by usually reliable second baseman Matt Noble on a routine ground ball. The error allowed Tyler Palmer to score from second.

The first three Hurricanes runs — two of them earned — came off starter Gabriel Hernandez, who only lasted two-plus innings, allowing five hits and a walk.


“I left the ball up a couple of times and they made adjustments, hit it pretty good,” Hernandez said.


Michael Austin pitched the next three-plus innings and held the Miami offense down temporarily until one of his runners came across in the sixth against Scott Garner, who gave up three earned in his three innings in relief.


The Wildcats (27-33), who were on the road for the last 30 games of their season, do not walk away upset as their trip to South Florida resulted in their first regional win since 2002, Saturday’s 6-5 victory against Columbia. They played several of the stronger teams on their schedule tough, including a regular-season win against the same Canes that eliminated them Sunday.


“We just came together as a team,” Garner said. “Everyone began to trust each other. We started to see the overall goal of the season.


“The way that we play these bigger teams that are supposedly supposed to win and the media says we don’t have a chance, we’re beating those teams. Conference may be different, but every single game we play, we’re in it.”


Bethune-Cookman swept four games in the MEAC Baseball Championships to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament as conference champion.


Morris will go with senior Javi Salas against the Red Raiders.