Your University of Miami Hurricanes wandered out West on Wednesday to play another mid-week baseball game. The ninth ranked Hurricanes paid a visit to the lovely city of Fort Myers, Florida to take on Florida Gulf Coast University in a classic David vs. Goliath showdown at sundown.
OK, so it was only the West coast of Florida but still it counts for something for these adventurous Hurricanes who have already played in Tampa, Orlando, Jupiter and Boca Raton. They will also travel to Tallahassee in April (4/23-25) to face the Florida State Seminoles. This Miami team knows Florida!
In a game labled as a "Battle Of The Birds" the team with the Fighting Ibis mascot beat the FGCU Eagles by the score of 9-0 in a game that was never in doubt. Miami scored one run in the first, two in the second, two more in the fifth and four runs in the ninth inning to seal the deal for the good guys.
The game was played at Hammond Stadium the Spring training home of the Minnesota Twins. It is a beautiful facility with all the amenities any fan could ask for, like beer. Seriously, the place is very nice and a great place to catch a game. A large crowd of maybe 2,500 people, about half Miami and half FGCU fans,filled the facility to about 50% capacity for the mid-week college game.
UM starter and former closer David Gutierrez was masterful on the mound and had a perfect game working through seven innings before he was removed for some strange reason by UM Head Coach Jim Morris. Since struggling as the Canes closer to open the season and recently moving to starter, Gutierrez has excelled in his new role.
So in the eigth in came UM reliever Eric Whaley to start the inning. Many Hurricane fans in the crowd seemed confused and concerned about Morris' move at the time and they would later prove to be correct in their assumptions. Whaley proceeded to load the bases by walking one batter, hitting another and then surrendering the first hit of the night to the Eagles as the home town crowd and mascot stood and cheered.
Whaley would get a strikeout to end the threat and the inning to preserve the shutout for the Hurricanes. New UM closer Daniel Miranda would later come in a close the game out for Miami in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.
The Hurricanes now stand at 24-9 on the season and return home for a weekend series with ACC rival North Carolina at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.