Hurricanes shut out Seminoles in back-to-back games

Miami takes series against Florida State for first time since 2008

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Kathy Hitchcock

Miami Hurricanes outfielder Gabe Rivera celebrates while running the bases after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against the Florida State Seminoles, April 6, 2019, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Florida.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - With a section of Miami fans chanting "O for Omaha" every time Mike Martin took the field, Florida State's longtime head coach and all-time wins leader didn't seem bothered by the obvious shot at the lone blemish on his otherwise successful career.

Martin coached his first game against the Hurricanes in 1980 -- a 10-0 loss in Coral Gables. That FSU team went on to win 51 games and play in the College World Series, the first of Martin's 16 trips to Omaha. Now in his 40th and final season with the Seminoles, Martin's teams have yet to hoist the championship trophy.

If Saturday night's game was any indication, the Seminoles will have their work cut out for them if they hope to send Martin out a winner.

For the second time in as many evenings, the slumping Seminoles were shut out by the Hurricanes, who blanked Florida State 4-0 after winning Friday night's opener 11-0.

Miami's back-to-back shutouts ensured FSU wouldn't take the series for the first time since 2008.

"It's certainly good to win the series against FSU," Miami first-year head coach Gino DiMare said. "We haven't done that in a few years. They've kind of had our number over some time here."

Florida State (18-12, 6-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) had plenty of chances to cross home plate, but Miami nipped each opportunity.

FSU's Cooper Swanson was in scoring position after reaching on a walk and advancing to third base on a single up the middle in the third inning, but he was tagged out at home plate on a fielder's choice. Miami starter Chris McMahon then walked Elijah Cabelle to load the bases with two outs in the third, but J.C. Flowers struck out swinging, stranding the Seminoles.

Kathy Hitchcock

Miami Hurricanes catcher Michael Amditis tags out Florida State's Cooper Swanson at home plate during the third inning of Miami's 4-0 victory, April 6, 2019, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Florida.

Miami (20-11, 7-7 ACC) made them pay for it. After designated hitter JP Gates struck out, left fielder Gabe Rivera blasted a solo home run to right center field, getting the Hurricanes on the scoreboard.

Then in the fifth inning, FSU's Mike Salvatore was caught stealing, squandering another scoring opportunity.

When Miami took over, Gates doubled to right field and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

FSU starter CJ Van Eyk walked Jordan Lala, paving the way for Miami's batters. Anthony Vilar's one-out RBI single sent Gates home.

Lala later scored from third on a fielder's choice, and Adrian Del Castillo knocked in an RBI single to put Miami ahead 4-0.

Van Eyk (3-3) threw 100 pitches before exiting in the fifth. He was credited with the loss, striking out seven while walking three and earning all four runs.

McMahon (2-2) pitched a season-high seven scoreless innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits.

"I want to know how Miami's lost all the games they've lost, because they're a good-looking club -- a real good-looking club," Martin said after the game.

Martin's squad is now 6-12 since starting the season 12-0 and rising to No. 1 in the country. The Seminoles have been shut out three times in their last four games and have only scored two runs in their last 38 innings. They've failed to score a run in 24 consecutive innings.

Miami, meanwhile, picked up consecutive shutouts against FSU for the first time since 2004.

"You tip your hat to the other club," Martin said. "They did a great job. They deserved to win."

The Hurricanes will be back in action Sunday afternoon as they try to sweep Florida State.

"For me, I'm not really thinking FSU or anything," DiMare said. "I'm just thinking playing good baseball and trying to get our team to be getting better every day so that, come the end of the year, we're playing our best baseball and we're one of the best teams standing."

Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.