coral gables regional | UM 1, Bethune-cookman 0

Miami Hurricanes win regional opener 1-0 vs. Bethune-Cookman on wild pitch

 

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

Bethune-Cookman’s right-handed ace Montana Durapau mastered the University of Miami on Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park for the third time in two seasons.

But the Hurricanes outlasted him.

David Thompson scored a run on a wild pitch by reliever Scott Garner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the top-seeded Hurricanes (42-17) defeated the Wildcats 1-0 in the opening game of the Coral Gables Regional.

It was the first 1-0 postseason complete-game shutout by a Miami pitcher since May 31, 2003, when J.D. Cockroft pitched a one-hitter against FAU.

“First of all, I’d like to congratulate, in particular, Durapau, for his pitching performance,” said UM coach Jim Morris, calling each pitcher’s outing “amazing.”

Left-handed redshirt sophomore Andy Suarez (6-3, 2.95 ERA) earned the victory in front of 1,843 fans with his first complete game this season, allowing seven hits in his first career shutout. He also tied a career high with 10 strikeouts.

“That’s as good as Suarez has pitched,” Morris said. “And Durapau can’t be any better. He’s pitched good against us his whole career. Thank goodness he’s a senior.

“Just a great win for us, a huge win.”

Durapau defeated UM the past two seasons and kept the Canes scoreless on three hits in his seven innings. He walked four.

He was replaced by Garner, who struck out the side in the eighth. But UM cleanup hitter Thompson was hit by a pitch with one out in the ninth, advanced to third on a Brandon Lopez single that got by the Wildcats’ right fielder and raced home on the wild pitch for the Canes’ victory.

“The catcher just missed it, and I ran home, plain and simple,” Thompson said. “We struggled all game, but we found a way to win.”

UM will advance to the winners’ bracket against No. 2 Texas Tech (41-18) at 7 p.m. Saturday. Morris said Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Pitcher of the Year Chris Diaz (9-0, 2.31) will start.

The Wildcats (26-32) will face No. 3 seed Columbia (29-19) at 2 p.m. Saturday in an elimination game.

Suarez had three nine-inning outings this season without a decision, including nine shutout innings against Pittsburgh.

“I was just hoping we were going to score finally,” said Suarez with a grin. “I felt like all my pitches were working, and my command got better as the game went on. At first I was leaving some balls down the plate, and they were getting some good hits. After that I just worked on keeping the ball low.

“It feels good to finally get the win once I go nine innings.”

Garner (1-4) took the loss.

“There are no moral victories,” said Bethune-Cookman coach Jason Beverlin, who praised Durapau and the rest of his Wildcats. “It is disappointing, but I’m not disappointed in the way we played — at all. That’s the way I want them to play. We just didn’t get a big hit when we needed it.”

The Wildcats had runners on the corners in each of the first two innings. With two outs in the first, Suarez struck out Jordan Robinson to end the threat. With one out in the second, Zach Olszewski hit into a double play.

In the seventh, Shaun McCarty doubled to left-center field with two outs, but Suarez struck out Olszewski, Suarez’s seventh strikeout to that point.

Single-game general admission tickets to Saturday’s games are $15. The $30 field-box and $20 chairback reserved single-game tickets are expected to be sold out.

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