Strong outing by Chris Diaz lifts UM baseball over Duke

05/10/2014 12:00 AM

09/08/2014 7:18 PM

The University of Miami baseball team received another sparkling performance on the mound from junior ace Chris Diaz on Friday night as the No. 5 Hurricanes cruised to a 6-1 win over No. 30 Duke at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in North Carolina.

Diaz, who entered the contest tied for the conference lead in wins and boasting the seventh-best ERA among all ACC pitchers, helped Miami extend the nation’s longest road winning streak to 13 consecutive games with eight strong innings. He surrendered just two hits and one earned run, as UM (36-14, 20-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) maintained sole possession of first place in the conference.

“For the most part, I was attacking the hitters and making them earn everything they were getting,” Diaz said.

Miami has not lost a game started by Diaz (9-0) in his past 14 trips to the hill. The stretch dates to May 23, 2013 and a game against N.C. State in the 2013 ACC championship — also played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The win was made even sweeter for Diaz, who was tagged for a career-high 11 hits in his last outing against the Blue Devils.

The victory marked Miami’s 10th consecutive conference road win — the program’s longest such stretch since joining the ACC in 2004 — and the 23rd win in its past 25 games.

The Hurricanes offense delivered another strong outing of its own, tagging Duke right-hander Drew Van Orden for season-high totals of six runs and seven hits. Freshman slugger Zack Collins led the offense with three hits — including his team-leading eighth home run — and three RBI.

Miami struck for three runs off Van Orden in the top of the first inning, jumping out to an early lead that was never in doubt. Tyler Palmer was hit by a pitch to follow Dale Carey’s leadoff single, immediately setting up a scoring opportunity for Collins. Collins came through in his early chance, lacing an RBI double into the right-center gap to put Miami on the board at 1-0.

“We knew Van Orden is a great pitcher, so we tried to score runs early on him and get him into jams,” Collins said. “It worked for us tonight.”iddle Tennessee’s Zac Curtis threw a two-hit shutout as FIU (34-14, 14-11) fell 7-0 on Friday night. Curtis struck out eight batters and walked four as he improved to 7-3 on the season.

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