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Diaz, Thompson Lead UM to 6-1 Win

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Chris Diaz gave the Miami Hurricanes six strong innings of work, and got all the offense he would need from freshman David Thompson, as Miami beat visiting UW-Milwaukee 6-1 on Friday night to move to 5-0 on the season.

Freshman David Thompson has 10 RBIs in his first five games.

Diaz (1-0) also got plenty of help from his infield defense, which turned a double play in each of the first four innings of the game.

“It’s always nice to have an early lead,” Diaz said. “Takes a lot of pressure off, then you just pitch to contact and let the defense work.”

The scouting report on UW-Milwaukee also helped Diaz in his approach. He stuck to his go-to pitch and it produced outs.

“Definitely my one-seam [fastball],” said Diaz, who was on a 90-pitch limit. “This team is very aggressive, and they swing early, and our defense worked and made all the plays.”

Miami’s first three batters reached base without having a ball travel more than 50 feet. Tyler Palmer led off the game with a bunt base hit. Alex Hernandez was then hit by a Cale Tassi pitch, and Chantz Mack also reached when he beat out an attempted sacrifice bunt. Thompson then doubled down the left field line to give the Hurricanes the early 2-0 lead.

Thompson’s approach has remained consistent, and the good results have come very early for the freshman.

“Just not trying to do too much,” Thompson said. “I got a lot of good hitters around me, I’ve just been lucky coming up with a lot of guys on base.”

Morris also said he couldn’t remember a time when a freshman was Miami’s every game clean-up hitter.

Alex Hernandez has hit safely in his first five games.

“I honestly don’t know if we’ve had a freshman hit fourth since I’ve been here,” Morris said. Pat Burrell didn’t. Ryan Braun didn’t. He’s very confident as a player. He thinks he’s going to get a hit and he thinks he’s going to play quarterback.”

The Milwaukee defense then gift-wrapped two runs for Miami, first on a bobbled ground ball by third baseman Sam Koenig, which allowed Mack to score, then on a throwing error by the catcher Will Fadness, which plated Thompson.

A double by Thompson and a single by Alex San Juan drove in the final two runs of the game for the Hurricanes in the seventh.

“I thought we played well, good game, I mean, we pitched well, all the guys threw well, particularly Diaz,” Miami coach Jim Morris said.

UW-Milwaukee got one back in the second, using a walk and back to back singles by Jonathan Capasso and Pat Wilson.

Frank Grandinette and Vince Kossak combined to pitch the final three innings of scoreless relief for the Hurricanes.

“Our defense was very solid, and we turned four double plays which is big, and as I said before the season started I thought our defense would be much stronger,” Morris said.

Tassi (0-1) went 6 1-3 innings for the Panthers, before giving way to Justin Jaquish.

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