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.
“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.