State Colleges

Hurricanes roll past FAMU to get weekend sweep

Fourth-ranked University of Miami completed its sixth sweep of the season on Sunday at Mark Light Field with a 12-7 victory over Florida A&M.

The Hurricanes (33-8) fell behind early, took the lead in the third inning and received late insurance on a seventh-inning grand slam by Randy Batista in front of 2,931 fans.

Batista, who had a career-best four hits (4 for 5) to lead Miami’s offense, became the first Hurricane since Frank Fleizach in 1998 to have the first homer of his career be a grand slam.

“I was just trying to get good pitches to hit,” Batista said. “On that grand slam, the ball just happened to run in, and I got it to go out. It was huge for the team.”

The Hurricanes pounded out 17 hits to bring their weekend total to 46 against the Rattlers, who were swept for the first time this season.

Junior left-hander Danny Garcia (7-3) earned the win with  5 1/3 solid innings. Despite allowing three solo home runs, Garcia struck out three batters in an effective 88-pitch outing.

A five-run third inning put the hosts ahead for good.

Trailing 2-0, Miami sent nine batters to the plate in the decisive frame. Joe Gomez, making his second consecutive start at catcher, doubled to open the inning and scored on a Carl Chester RBI single.

Johnny Ruiz added an RBI single, Jacob Heyward connected on an RBI fielder’s choice groundout and Willie Abreu capped the inning’s scoring with a two-run double to left to put Miami ahead 5-2.

Rattlers right-hander Chase Jarrell (5-3) tossed  6 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. He struck out two and walked two.

The Rattlers (24-17) threatened in the sixth when they loaded the bases on three singles and chased Garcia. With Miami’s lead down to 5-3, right-hander Frankie Bartow entered in a precarious situation but struck out Florida A&M designated hitter Willis McDaniel to escape the jam.

Jacky Miles Jr. connected for two solo homers, while leadoff hitter Marlon Gibbs also homered for the Rattlers.

Paced by the Batista slam, the Hurricanes exploded for seven runs in the seventh inning to put the game away. Heyward opened the scoring with a perfectly executed squeeze play that scored a run.

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