University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes baseball team completes weekend sweep of Clemson

Jim Morris earned his 999th, 1,000th and 1,001st victories with the Canes’ weekend sweep of Clemson.
Jim Morris earned his 999th, 1,000th and 1,001st victories with the Canes’ weekend sweep of Clemson. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Hurricanes made sure coach Jim Morris’ 1,001st victory with the team was less stressful than his 999th and 1,000th.

After walk-off wins on Friday and Saturday, fourth-ranked Miami used a five-run fifth inning to put the game out of reach Sunday afternoon, completing a sweep of 17th-ranked Clemson with a 10-5 victory in Coral Gables .

With the sweep, the Hurricanes (20-4, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) move a game ahead of No. 6 North Carolina in the ACC Coastal division. The Tar Heels will visit Mark Light Field next weekend. Clemson (17-6, 5-4) falls to third in the Atlantic division, behind No. 12 Florida State and No. 8 Louisville.

“I didn’t think a lot about it beforehand,” Morris said of Saturday’s 1,000th victory, although he was quick to point out with a chuckle that his win total now stands at 1,001.

“During the game, it never once popped into my head … It was a very nice, touching thing for me. It takes a long time to win 1,000 games.”

Clemson took a 1-0 lead on freshman Seth Beer’s 11th homer of the season leading off the top of the second, but the Hurricanes scored eight unanswered over the next three frames to take a comfortable 8-1 lead into the sixth inning.

Miami had 14 hits, but only Zack Collins’ first-inning double went for extra bases. Collins paced the Hurricanes with three RBI, while Johnny Ruiz and Brandon Lopez led the way with three singles each.

“If we can walk and get on base, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense,” Morris said of his team’s offensive approach.

Thirty of the Hurricanes’ 36 hits this weekend were singles, and Miami walked 20 times compared to 13 for Clemson.

Free passes played a big role in the Hurricanes’ fifth, as Miami parlayed three walks, an error, two hit batters, a Lopez bunt single, and a Ruiz single off the left field wall into five runs.

Ruiz was involved in a collision at the end of the top of the seventh, when Clemson center fielder Chase Pinder ran into Ruiz as he fielded a ground ball. Both players stayed on the dirt for a few minutes but remained in the game. Pinder was called out for runner’s interference.

Ruiz eventually left the game in the middle of the first at-bat of the top of the ninth inning.

Morris said Ruiz was “feeling a little bit dizzy,” but came to the team’s postgame meeting and “should be fine.”

Danny Garcia recorded his fourth victory of the season for Miami, scattering eight hits and three earned runs across seven innings. He struck out three batters and walked only one.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Garcia said. “I wasn’t trying to think about strikeouts or anything.”

The seven innings tied Garcia’s longest outing of the season, and provided rest for a Hurricane bullpen that pitched the final seven innings of Saturday night’s 11-inning victory.

Morris said relievers Andrew Cabezas and Frankie Bartow, who combined to throw the last five innings of Saturday’s game, were not available Sunday.

Ten of Clemson’s 13 hits came from three hitters. Pinder and Chris Okey both went 4 for 5, and Weston Wilson added a double and a triple. Pinder hit two solo homers, and Okey hit one.

The Hurricanes travel to Boca Raton on Wednesday to face Florida Atlantic (18-4) before returning home for three games against the Tar Heels.

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