UM 12, Pittsburgh 2

Chris Diaz pitches Miami Hurricanes baseball to 10th win in a row, tops Pitt Panthers

 

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, the Miami Hurricanes were 13-12, losers of seven of their previous nine games and feeling kind of crummy.

What a difference a winning streak makes.

Behind another stellar outing by UM left-handed junior Chris Diaz, the Canes won their 10th consecutive game Friday — the second longest streak in the nation — by dominating Atlantic Coast Conference rival Pittsburgh 12-2 in the opener of a three-game series at Alex Rodriguez Park.

The 24th-ranked Canes (23-12, 12-4 ACC) are one league game behind second-ranked Virginia (29-5, 13-3).

“It was a great win for us,” UM coach Jim Morris said. “Our guys are playing well as a team — good pitching, good hitting, good defense.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things to make that happen.”

Diaz (6-0, 2.52 ERA) allowed two earned runs on five hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out 10, tying his career-high from last season against Oklahoma State in the Louisville Regional.

The Canes have not lost a game started by Diaz dating to May 24, 2013, a stretch of 10 consecutive starts, including his first nine of 2014.

Considering Diaz pitches on Friday nights, when each team’s ace is on the mound, the accomplishment is that much more impressive.

“It’s awesome,” Diaz said of the streak. “We’re just having fun and trying to keep this going as long as we can.”

UM took advantage of nearly every opportunity Friday, drawing a season-high 12 walks, scoring three times on wild pitches and once on a failed pickoff, with another pickoff putting them in scoring position.

Dale Carey led the Canes with three hits and three runs scored.

The only Division I team on more of a tear than Miami is Western Carolina, which won its 12th game in a row Friday.

The Hurricanes’ streak matches its season-opening string of 10 wins in 2013.

The difference: UM has seven ACC victories in the current streak.

Last year there were no ACC opponents in the 10-game start.

Pittsburgh, which scored both runs in the sixth, fell to 16-7 and 8-8.

•  FIU 7, Louisiana Tech 2: Mike Franco allowed four hits and notched his second complete game of the season — retiring 16 consecutive Bulldog hitters between the fourth and ninth innings — as the visiting Panthers (25-9, 9-7 C-USA) scored seven unanswered runs after the third inning to beat the Bulldogs (9-22, 3-13).

•  St. Thomas 3, No. 13 Embry-Riddle 1: Senior Eddie Cody pitched a complete game allowing one run on seven hits as the host Bobcats (28-15, 17-7 Sun Conference) beat the 13th-ranked Eagles (30-15, 19-4).

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