Miami Unable to Produce Against FAU in Tuesday Match-Up

May 17, 2011

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Jake Meiers (4-5)
FAU 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 7 11 3 L: Steven Ewing (7-2)
#15 Miami 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 11 3  

2B: A. Mee, R. Church, S. Perez, R. Rodriguez, S. Rowland
HR: R. Church (4), N. Delguidice (4)
RBI: A. Mee (2), R. Church (2), N. Delguidice, J. Burkhalter, H. Martinez, B. Fieger, D. Carey (2)
SB: N. Melendres, D. Carey

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Florida Atlantic University started strong and never looked back as the No. 15 University of Miami Hurricanes were unable to complete a late rally attempt, falling 7-4 to the Owls in a non-conference contest played at Alex Rodriguez Park on Tuesday evening. The game was the final non-conference game of the regular season for the Hurricanes.

Starting sophomore pitcher Steven Ewing (7-2, 2.76 ERA) was credited with the loss – just his second of the season – while FAU’s Jake Meiers (4–5) earned the win. Ewing got off to a strong start, striking out two of the first four batters he faced. He later struggled, however, giving up two home runs and hitting two batters before being relieved by freshman Javi Salas.

Ewing had won seven in a row coming into tonight’s game. His only other loss of the season, coincidentally, came against FAU in Boca Raton on February 23 – his first start of the 2011 campaign.

Errors by Miami (32-19) pitchers became somewhat of a theme of the night for Miami. On the game, UM pitchers hit two batters, walked four, threw one wild pitch and had three failed pickoff attempts in throws over to first base.

FAU (31-20) scored the game’s first run in the second inning when shortstop Nick Delguidice hit a hanging curve ball off the left field foul pole for a solo homerun. FAU continued to grind away as designated hitter Eddie Cassidy reached first base on a walk and third baseman Sean Bukovich hit a single to center to advance Cassidy to second. Catcher Mike Albaladejo also walked to load the bases, and right fielder Andy Mee’s sac fly was deep enough to score Cassidy for the Owls’ second run, giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage.

The Hurricanes failed to respond in the bottom of the inning as junior first baseman Harold Martinez struck out; freshman third baseman Brad Fieger grounded out; Dale Carey reached first on balls and senior Chris Pelaez grounded out to second.

The hot bats continued for the Owls in the third inning as second baseman Raymond Church went yard to left field for the Owls’ second homer – his fourth of the year – and third run of the night as a team.

A scary moment came in the third for the Canes as a bad hop ricocheted off the face of Brad Fieger at third, temporarily stunning the Naples freshman. He continued to play, and UM went on to a more productive fourth inning.

After an error by FAU’s Raymond loaded the bases for the Canes, Carey singled down the left field line to score both Rodriguez and Martinez in the home half of the frame. That brought the score to within 3-2 in favor of FAU.

The Owls stretched the lead at 4-2 in the fifth when Cassidy singled to right to plate Dan Scheffler. One batter later, a throwing error on a pick-off attempt to first base scored Delguidice from third and brought the score to 5-2.

Rodriguez doubled in the fifth and charted his 12th two-bagger of the season, and tied him with Martinez and Fieger for the most doubles on the year.

Then started the trade-off between UM and FAU pitchers in terms of hit batters.

The Canes hit two – Alex Hudak and Raymond Church – while the Owls plunked junior Nathan Melendres. The latter, in the sixth, paved the way for a Miami comeback by putting sophomore Stephen Perez in scoring position. The following batter, Rodriguez, reached base on balls as well. A sac fly by junior Harold Martinez scored the Canes’ third run, but Fieger then flied out to first base squashing the rally.

Yet another failed pick-off attempt by Salas in the eighth put FAU’s Bukovich in scoring position. An ensuing bunt single to the left side moved him to third, and the next batter, Mee, doubled to left to drive in Bukovich. Later in the same inning, a sac fly by Church scored Albaladejo from third bringing the score to 7-3 in favor of the Owls.

One positive note on the evening came in the eighth when UM freshman catcher Corey Janson recorded his first-ever hit as a Hurricane with a single to right field.

In the ninth inning, for the third consecutive game Miami attempted a late rally that fell just short in the end.

Fieger’s single drove in Perez for the Canes’ fourth run, but it was all Miami could muster as Cade Kreuter grounded out to end the game with the bases loaded – representing the winning run at the plate. With a final score of 7-4 the Hurricanes lost for the 18th time this season and dropped the series against FAU, 2-1 – dropping two-of-three against the Owls in a season for the first time since 1984.

Canes action continues this Thursday as Miami takes on Duke at 7 p.m., in Coral Gables for the final Atlantic Coast Conference regular season series.

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University of Miami Baseball Postgame Notes:

With the loss, the #15 Hurricanes fall to…

  • 32-19 overall on the season
  • 21-10 at Alex Rodriguez Park
  • 4-4 in the month of May

Tonight’s Opponent
Tuesday finished the three-game season series between FAU and Miami. The Owls took the first game, 7-4, in Boca Raton on February 23, with the Canes winning 7-3 on March 15 in Coral Gables.

This is the first time since 1984 that Miami has dropped the season series to FAU in a three-game season series.

Tonight’s Starters
Sophomore Steven Ewing made his first start since beating USF on April 27, at Alex Rodriguez Park – lasting just four innings on the night. His seven-game winning streak ended on Tuesday, as his only other loss this season came at the hands of FAU on February 23 in Boca Raton, Fla.

On the Board
Freshman catcher Corey Janson recorded his first career hit with a single up the middle in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Unable to Cash In
Miami left 13 runners on base, including leaving the tying runs on in the bottom of the ninth inning, as well as the winning run at the plate in the form of Cade Kreuter.

Miami in the Polls
The Hurricanes moved up in all the national polls, except Baseball America where they stayed at No. 16. Collegiate Baseball ranked the Canes at No. 15, with Perfect Game USA slotting Miami at No. 20.

Sloppy Play
Miami pitchers threw away three pick-off attempts at first base on Tuesday, accounting for all three team errors on the night. The staff also hit two batters and walked four.
Up Next
Miami, having dropped four of its last five games, will look to get back in the win column on Thursday night, welcoming in Duke to begin the last series of the regular season. Coach Morris will send freshman Bryan Radziewski (8-2, 3.10 ERA) to the hill to begin the series in a game slated to begin at 7 p.m.