The Miami Hurricanes (10-2) defeated the Appalachian State Mountaineers (4-7) 6-1 on Wednesday Night. This victory tied Gino DiMare with former coach Perry Moss for the most wins in their first 12 games as head coach. Slade Cecconi was extremely impressive striking out a career high eight batters. He also only allowed one run on four hits.
What a night for @slade_cecconi.
He leaves after six innings giving up just one run, while striking out a career-high 8️⃣. pic.twitter.com/1iflV6oijz
— Canes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) March 7, 2019
Jordan Lala got the show started in the bottom of the first. He sent the first pitch he saw from App State starter over the right field wall. Canes 1, Mountaineers 0.
“It felt pretty good,” Lala said. ” Once I got put in the leadoff spot, I thought I was taking a little bit and getting behind in the count. I just thought today I was going to be aggressive an it worked out.”
In the top of the second inning, it looked like the Mountaineers would strike back as they managed to load the bases but Cecconi would have none of it. The freshman was able to bear down and get out of the inning without allowing a single run.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Hurricanes would add two more to their lead. App State reliever Jason Cornatzer was visibly rattled by the passionate Miami crowd and he walked three consecutive Hurricanes. With the bases loaded and no one out, the App State righty was able to strike out Chad Crosbie for the first one. The next batter, Tony Jenkins, managed to hit a sacrifice fly to center field which scored Alex Toral from third. Then with a runner on second, Jordan Lala got his second RBI of the game with a shot down the right field line to put the Canes up 3-0.
The Hurricanes lineup which has been extremely impressive this year features three freshman in the top four hitters. All three had multiple hits on Wednesday night. Lala led the way with three while Anthony Vilar followed with two. In addition, Adrian Del Castillo added two hits to push his hitting streak to 12 games which is second longest to start a season in Hurricanes history. After the game, coach DiMare was complimentary of his freshman, including starter Cecconi and reliever JP Gates.
“Three out of the first four hitters are freshmen with Lala, [Anthony] Vilar and Del Castillo,” DiMare said. “Of course, you’ve got another one in there with [Luis] Tuero. I’m very happy with the freshmen. Slade threw well today and [JP] Gates threw very well today and has the last couple outings. We’ve had good classes the last couple of years and we are starting to see that come together.”
The Mountaineers would be held scoreless by Cecconi until the top of the sixth when App State’s Phillip Cole grounded out to Zamora at short to push across a run. The Hurricanes would get that back and add an additional run in the bottom of the inning. As Raymond Gil and Luis Tuero (another freshman) would manage to cross the plate on a throwing error.
JP Gates, Gregory Veliz, Mark Mixon, and Daniel Federman would close out the game for Miami. They, combined, allowed no runs on two hits. Another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh would close out the scoring for the night to get the Hurricanes the 6-1 victory.
The all important ACC schedule starts this weekend. The HUrricanes will kick off a three game weekend series with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets beginning Friday night at the Light. Evan McKendry (3-0, 1.89 ERA) will take the mound for Miami. A pre-game ceremony to retire former coach Jim Morris’ #3 will take place on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm.