University of Miami

UM’s bats come alive as they avoid sweep by FSU

Jim Morris joked Sunday that his University of Miami baseball team’s 12-0 lashing of Florida State “was about the shake, the milkshake’’ with hot fudge and chocolate sprinkles named in his honor at the famous Mark Light Field milkshake stand.

“That’s why we won,” he said. “I drank my first chocolate shake.’’

Then, on a sweltering day in which his 13th-ranked Hurricanes hit four home runs and tallied 18 hits, the coach became serious, saying his pregame speech left out the usual scouting report and implored his team to “play for pride’’ after losing 8-7 in 17 innings on Friday and 15-5 on Saturday.

“We better not be swept, particularly by Florida State,’’ Morris said he told his players about their 12th-ranked archrival. “We have to live with that for a year, and our fans have to live with it. It’s very important for us to play our hearts out.’’

Then he left the locker room.

That’s when closer Bryan Garcia told the Hurricanes “not to forget the reason you started playing. Have fun the way you did in Little League.”

George Iskenderian, who had four hits in four at-bats, said he listened.

“Every day is a new day in baseball and we took advantage of that,’’ he said.

The Hurricanes, who were embarrassed Saturday night after their first series loss at Mark Light Stadium since March of last year, dominated Sunday in every phase.

Nine of Miami’s first 10 runs came through homers.

With two outs in the first, Iskenderian and Zack Collins singled, setting up David Thompson’s team-leading 11th home run to make it 3-0.

Garrett Kennedy hit the next one, a leadoff shot to right field in the second inning.

Willie Abreu’s three-run homer to right field after Iskenderian’s RBI double made it 8-0 after three innings.

And Zack Collins’ shot to right field after Iskenderian singled made it 10-0 after four.

“They whipped us, took us to the woodshed — plain and simple,’’ said FSU coach Mike Martin, whose Seminoles (33-13, 16-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) are second in the ACC’s Atlantic Division behind Louisville. “They did a great job.’’

The Hurricanes (31-13, 16-8) are 31/2 games ahead of North Carolina in the Coastal Division.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game and we’d have to go out there and battle,’’ said right-handed starter Enrique Sosa (6-3), who struck out five and allowed six hits and one walk in six innings.

“He pitched a great game,” Morris said, mentioning Sosa’s sterling 5-0 home record with an 0.96 ERA, despite a recent laceration on his right foot. “This is a crazy game.

“It’s amazing how from one day to the next this game can change from one side to the other. It started with Sosa.’’

Seminoles starter Drew Carlton took the loss. He allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 21/3 innings.

The crowd of 3,289 endured record-breaking temperatures that peaked at 97.8 degrees just after 3 p.m., but the Canes seemed to thrive in it.

“It might have heated up the bats a little,’’ Iskenderian said.

With 11 games left in the regular season, the Hurricanes travel to Pittsburgh (16-25, 6-14) next weekend for a doubleheader Saturday and series finale Sunday.


The FIU baseball team (20-23, 10-11 C-USA) dropped the final game of its three-game series to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (20-21, 5-15 C-USA), 1-0, at FIU Baseball Stadium.

Despite the loss, FIU took the series, winning two of three against the Bulldogs after a pair of extra-inning victories Saturday.

The Panthers were held scoreless for just the second time this season, recording eight hits, while leaving 15 runners on base.

Related stories from Miami Herald