Hurricanes Shut Out Baseball 4-0
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Miami righthander David Gutierrez pitched six scoreless innings and he and two relievers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Hurricanes defeated NC State 4-0 in the second game of an Atlantic Coast Conference series at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Miami has won the first two games of the series and improved to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 7-4 and 0-2.
NC State starter Jake Buchanan (1-1) struggled for the first time in 2009. He retired the Hurricanes 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first inning, but did not set the side down in order again until the fifth. By that time, Miami led 4-0. Buchanan pitched an eight-inning complete game in taking the loss. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked three and tied his career high with nine strikeouts.
After rolling through the first inning without incident, Buchanan served up an opposite-field home run to Hurricanes cleanup hitter Chris Herrmann leading off the bottom of the second inning.
Buchanan wobbled again in the third. Jonathan Weislow got it started with a one-out walk. Nathan Melendres blooped a single to shallow right field to put runners on first and second, and Scott Lawson’s infield chopper went off Pat Ferguson’s glove for an infield single to load the bases. Ryan Jackson’s fly ball to center field drove in Weislow to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead.
Harold Martinez led off the bottom of the fourth, laced a double down the left-field line and took third base on a wild pitch. Jason Hagerty’s groundout to first base drove in Martinez to make it 3-0. Dave DiNatale followed by working Buchanan for a walk, and Yasmani Grandal singled past Ferguson to put runners on first and second with one down. Weislow hit a potential double-play grounder to shortstop, but beat the relay throw to first base to put runners on the corners with two away, and Melendes’s single to left drove in DiNatale to give Miami a 4-0 lead.
Buchanan was magic after that, retiring 13 of the last 14 men he faced. The one man who reached in that stretch, Hagerty leading off the sixth with a walk, was gunned down by Pratt Maynard on a stolen-base attempt.
Gutierrez, meanwhile, cruised through the first five innings for Miami, allowing just one hit, a two-out single by Cameron Conner. He did issue a career-high five walks and stranded runners in each of the first four innings, but never was threatened.
The Wolfpack finally mounted a serious threat in the top of the sixth, only to have it short-circuited by a fielding gem by Jackson. Kyle Wilson led off and doubled off the wall in left-center. Maynard beat out a grounder to Jackson at shortstop, putting runners on first and third with none out. Drew Poulk walked to load the bases, still with no outs.
Dusty Quattlebaum worked a full count before striking out for the first out. Pat Ferguson followed with a grounder up the middle that Jackson laid out for, gloved and flipped to second while lying on his stomach. Lawson, the second baseman, made a perfect relay to first to complete the spectacular, backbreaking double play.
That was all for Gutierrez, who improved to 2-0. He wound up working six shutout innings on three hits and five walks. He struck out four. Daniel Miranda and Taylor Wulf worked the final three innings for the Hurricanes.
NC State and Miami will play the final game of this three-game ACC series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. WKNC-FM (88.1) will broadcast the game live. The broadcast will be available on-line at gopack.com through the Pack Pass Package.