Canes Take Two of Three From Wake Forest

Coming into this past weekend's series against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, you had the feeling that the Hurricanes needed to win two out of three games at the minimum.

After it was all said and done, they did just that. It's hard to get too excited over getting the bare minimum result, but at least the weekend wasn't disastrous as the last three ACC weekends had been.

On Friday night, it appeared that the weekend was going to be a rousing success. The Hurricanes came out with an 11-0 win. The team banged out 14 hits, but of greater help were the seven errors made by the Wake Forest defense. For once, it was nice for Miami to be on the positive end of a defensive meltdown.

The offense did a wonderful job of getting to staff ace Tim Cooney, chasing him from the game early. In five innings, Cooney allowed 11 hits and nine runs (five earned).

Contributions were made up and down the lineup, but if you had to single out one offensive star, it would have to be Tyler Palmer. The Canes' first baseman on this night went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in.

But the biggest star had to be starting pitcher Eric Erickson. The lefty didn't give up a hit until the sixth inning and ended his day after six scoreless innings allowing only one hit and one walk.

Saturday couldn't have been much different. This time, Wake Forest piled up the hits (11 of them) and they didn't make a single error on the way to winning by the score of 7-2.

Most of the Deacons' damage came against Miami starter Steven Ewing. In 2.1 innings pitched, Ewing allowed five hits and six earned runs. Six UM relievers only allowed one run during the rest of the game, but it was too little, too late. Hurricane hitters managed only two runs, one of which came in the eighth inning when the result had already been very much decided.

One positive from game two was that Rony Rodriguez did go 3-for-4. If Miami is going to make some noise and maybe get through a regional, they are going to have to get production from someone besides Peter O'Brien. If Rodriguez can get going like he did for much of last season, he can be that guy.

On Sunday, Miami got the much-needed series win by taking the rubber game 6-3.

The tone was set early on by starting pitcher Eric Whaley. Whaley held the Deacons at bay for the first three innings, which allowed Miami to get out to a 2-0 lead. In the fourth inning, he had his one slip up and gave up a two-run home run to Mac Williamson, but given that it was Williamson's 15th homer of the season, that's almost excusable.

Whaley, though, was able to recover and throw two more scoreless frames before giving way to the bullpen.

The Hurricanes' offense delivered the big blow in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded, third baseman Brad Fieger unloaded for his third home run of the season, a grand slam to left.

From that point on, the Demon Deacons only managed to put up a single run in the eighth inning.

As hard as it is to believe, the regular season is just about over. Tuesday the Hurricanes will take on Florida Gulf Coast in their home finale before traveling to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech next weekend in the final series of the year.

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