Wildcats Command 5-3 Victory Over Miami
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Donning their camouflage caps for the first time in the 2013 campaign, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (15-17) arrived at Alex Rodriguez Park ready for battle, locked in and ready to win against the Miami Hurricanes (20-12). The Wildcats never trailed, holding off the Hurricanes through the crucial final frames for the 5-3 win.
“It’s big any time you play a team like Miami to come in here with great intensity and focus to play well the way we did,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. “The guys played great. They played hard all day long and came up big.”
The Wildcats claimed the first advantage in the top of the fourth, snapping three scoreless innings, as Eric Sams lined a curving single into right center, plating a pair of runs for B-CU.
B-CU piled on in the top of the fifth as PJ Biocic drew a walk and Shaun McCarty capitalized with an RBI double deep to the right field corner, later crossing the plate for the four-run B-CU advantage on Brandon Turner’s fielder’s choice.
After putting up four unanswered, Miami finally responded with an Alex Hernandez RBI single through the left side to put the Hurricanes on the board, narrowing the lead to 4-1.
For the third consecutive inning, B-CU tacked up a run, as Eric Sams reached on an error at second base, becoming the Wildcats fifth run on Chris Biocic’s RBI single to left center, and extending the lead back to four runs.
“It sets a tone,” Beverlin said of scoring in consecutive frames. “We were in the game. We were here to play to win the game. By adding those runs on, it definitely established that momentum we needed.”
The Hurricanes, struggled against the momentum swing, using one big play to cut into that lead, as left fielder Michael Broad took a 1-2 pitch to the scoreboard, literally, with a two-run homer to left field, trimming the margin to a 5-3 B-CU lead.
Jordan Dailey entered in relief in the bottom of the eighth. The senior closer did his job, putting two Hurricanes batters away on strikeouts, the third on a groundout.
Dailey again handled the Hurricanes in crunch time, defending B-CU’s two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, striking out one and inducing a pair of groundouts to down the UM side in order. In closing the door, he logged his fifth save of the year and secured the first win over Miami in five games, dating back to the 2009 season.
Starter Montana Durapau (4-3) earned the win, getting back to form with seven effective innings on the hill, allowing just two earned runs and one walk, while striking out a season-high seven batters.
“I think his command was better today,” Beverlin said of Durapau. “He was in total control, and I think our guys felt that and stayed behind him.”
Offensively, the Wildcats put up nine hits, led by McCarty and C. Biocic, each batting 2-for-4 with an RBI. In addition, McCarty also scored a run. Johnson went 2-for-5, while Turner and Sams also chipped in RBI.
As for the new headgear, which drew a lot of interest from attendees and fans on social media sites, it came as a suggestion from Durapau. Though the caps were not slated to appear this season, Durapau approached Beverlin with the idea following Tuesday’s game at North Florida, and Beverlin signed off.
“I thought we should change it up, get the team fired up,” Durapau said. “Everyone was locked in for nine innings, it was good to see.”
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