It was a return to conventional winning for the University of Miami baseball team after needing a walk-off and 10 innings of bullpen work the previous night.
The No. 19 Hurricanes got some early scoring and let Enrique Sosa handle the mound work to take down North Carolina State 9-2 in Game 2 of the three-game series on Saturday night at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Miami (14-6, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) clinched its first conference series win this season and will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon. It’s the Canes’ seventh consecutive series win at home.
After having to scratch his starting pitcher 20 minutes before the first pitch on Friday, coach Jim Morris got plenty from Sosa, who had a career-long outing.
Sosa went 6 1/3 innings, earning the win while giving up just one earned run on seven hits and striking out six.
“The hitters were missing the fastball in, and when I threw it outside it was moving pretty good,” said Sosa, who is now 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA. “In the end, I was just throwing sliders, and they were just swinging over it.”
The junior Panamanian came out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth unscathed, striking out two consecutive batters. He retired the side in order in the second and sixth.
The Canes surged ahead early with a three-run second inning. A Christopher Barr double brought home David Thompson, then Johnny Ruiz drove in Justin Smith with a sacrifice fly, and Barr later scored on a throwing error by the N.C. State catcher on a steal of third.
“I felt good. I’m making a lot of adjustments with the coaches,” said Barr, who went 2 for 3, adding a triple and a walk to his RBI double. “It’s nice to see when it pays off.”
Three insurance runs were added in the seventh when George Iskenderian and Willie Abreu belted RBI singles and Thompson hit a sacrifice fly. Three more scored in a sloppy eighth inning defensively for N.C. State (10-6, 2-3).
Senior left-hander Andy Suarez makes his anticipated return to the mound after missing his previous three starts in a Sunday matinee series finale.