Wildcats Jump on No. 13 Miami Early in 7-3 Victory
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Senior right-hander Montana Durapau picked up his second win over the No. 13 Miami Hurricanes, producing his fourth consecutive quality start, as Bethune-Cookman used the momentum of a big-hitting first inning to top Miami, 7-3, Tuesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Facing Miami senior right-hander Javi Salas, in the top of the first, designated hitter Josh Johnson quickly dispelled the acclaim Salas’ perfect game last week versus Villanova, taking the first pitch for a single to shallow left field, jumpstarting a huge inning for the Wildcats.
Johnson was able to score just two batters later, as first baseman Eric Sams’ sacrifice bunt attempt paid out double, Salas overthrew first base to advance all runners. The very next pitch went to right center, courtesy of a Matt Noble two-run double. Two batters later, Miami native Eros Modena placed an RBI double into left center and fellow Miamian Julian Santos came in on a groundout, and was the last to cross the plate in the frame.
In all, B-CU batted through 12 men in the inning, scoring six runs on six hits, ending the night for Salas, who was replaced by Enrique Sosa in the top of the second.
“Josh [Johnson] set the tone, getting that hit first pitch of the game,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. “We took what [Salas] gave us and guys came up with some big hits. We really put a lot of pressure on them, ran the bases well the first inning and put up the six-spot early.”
Holding the Wildcats to just two hits and no runs over the next seven innings, the Hurricanes crept back into the game. After moving center fielder Dale Carey to third with a small ball approach, Carey tabbed Miami’s first run on a passed ball in the bottom of the third. Right fielder Willie Abreau came in on a groundout to narrow the B-CU advantage to four runs.
Miami added one more in the bottom of the fifth on Fieger’s double, high over third base, his second RBI of the night. Third baseman Jordan Robinson closed the frame snagging a line drive and completing the solo double play with the quick move to the bag.
The Wildcats added a little more breathing room in the top of the ninth, as Johnson led off with a triple down the left field line. He crossed the plate for the second time in the game, on an error, granting the Wildcats the 7-3 advantage.
Bethune-Cookman starter (3-0) Durapau pitched eight frames with only two earned runs allowed, walking two and striking out seven. Durapau also collected the win in last season’s victory at Miami and is 2-0 in three total appearances against the Hurricanes.
“Montana did a great job of holding them down,” Beverlin Noted. "Any time you come in here and take care of business, it’s definitely a big win for us."
Sophomore Michael Austin downed each batter faced in relief to close the door in the bottom of the ninth, securing the first victory over a top-15 team since 2009, when the Wildcats defeated then-No. 15 Miami in two games of a series in Coral Gables.
Johnson led the Wildcats with 3-for-5 hitting and two runs scored. Noble was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The Wildcats (9-7) return to action tomorrow night in Jacksonville, Fla., taking on North Florida at 6 p.m. The Ospreys (6-7) took a 13-1 loss to Georgia Southern on Tuesday night in Statesboro, Ga.