Bryan Garcia helps UM baseball team extend win streak to 12 games

 

His teammates call Bryan Garcia “Milkshake” because of his beverage of choice, and the freshman closer — true to his nickname — is making the ending of games delicious for Miami Hurricanes fans.

Garcia picked up his 10th victory as Miami defeated visiting Pitt 7-2 to extend its winning streak to 12 games.

“We know [Garcia] is going to come through for us every time,” said UM starter Bryan Radziewski (3-2), who allowed two runs, one earned, in 6 2/3 innings. “He attacks the zone.”

The win streak for the Canes (25-12, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) is their longest since 2008, when they won 14 in a row.

Miami has swept three-game series from three consecutive ACC opponents — at North Carolina State, at Virginia Tech and now Pitt — which is the first time the the Hurricanes have accomplished the feat.

The Canes, who allowed just three earned runs in 28 innings this weekend, are tied atop the ACC’s Coastal Division with No. 2 Virginia.

Radziewski, a junior left-hander who entered this season with a career record of 20-5, got off to a shaky start in February and into March. But he has picked up two wins in his past two starts, allowing a combined total of three earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.

“Me and [pitching coach] J.D. [Arteaga] sat down and changed some things — more mental things and different grips,” Radziewski said.

Radziewski got help Sunday — mostly from Miami’s highly touted freshman class, which coach Jim Morris said is his best group in at least eight years.

Freshman reliever Cooper Hammond gave up a run-scoring hit on a close play at the plate, but ultimately got the out Miami needed to retain a 3-2 lead in the seventh.

Garcia entered in the eighth with Miami still up 3-2 and proceeded to pitch two shutout innings, striking out a career-high four of the seven batters he faced.

And yet another freshman, third baseman Johnny Ruiz, had a huge two-run double in the top of the ninth to put the Canes up 5-2. Miami added two more runs that inning, and then Garcia closed out the win.

Freshman reliever Cooper Hammond gave up a run-scoring hit on a close play at the plate, but ultimately got the out Miami needed to retain a 3-2 lead in the seventh.

“That [rally] made the game easier,” Garcia said. “I didn’t have to think too much.”

All he had to do after the ninth was order up his favorite drink.

“Milkshakes,” Canes center fielder Dale Carey said, “he’s always drinking milkshakes.”

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