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Miami and Virginia End Long Game with Thriller

May 27, 2011

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Justin Thompson (3-1)
#3 Virginia 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 0 0 6 15 2 L: Travis Miller (2-1)
#16 Miami 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 9 3 S: Branden Kline (16)

2B: K. Swab (2), D. Coleman, H. Martinez, D. Carey, C. Mack
3B: H. Martinez
HR: R. Rodriguez (11)
RBI: S. Proscia, K. Swab (4), K. Werman, R. Rodriguez (2), C. Pelaez, C. Mack
SB: D. Hultzen

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader | Season Stats Get Acrobat Reader | Postgame Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Postgame Quotes Get Acrobat Reader

DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 16 University of Miami baseball team had momentum early, and even after a 7 1/2 hour rain delay, had an opportunity to make a large comeback for the second straight day, but fell just short – losing to No. 3 Virginia, 6-4, at the 2011 ACC Baseball Championship inside Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Miami (35-21) looked to be in good position early, but an epic rain delay sent starter Eric Whaley to the bench earlier than expected, and the UM bullpen was unable to hold the early lead.  Mathematically, the Hurricanes are now eliminated from Sunday’s ACC title game.

In the bottom of the first, it was the Canes making early noise as Zeke DeVoss was hit by a pitch to reach base for the 12th time in as many plate appearances. Two batters later, Rony Rodriguez turned on a pitch from UVa starter Will Roberts, sending it towering over the famous Blue Monster and off of the roof of the restaurant behind left field to put the Hurricanes up, 2-0.

Then, as the Hurricanes seemed to have momentum going into the bottom of the second, the skies opened up and dumped a seven hour and 24 minute rain delay on the Durham Bulls Athletic Park surface.

After resuming play around 7 p.m., Roberts stayed on the mound for the Cavaliers, holding Miami scoreless over the next four innings and opening the door for a UVa comeback.

In the top of the third, midweek starter Stephen Ewing took the mound in relief of Whaley.  Virginia (47-9) took advantage of the new pitcher, plating a run to trim the Canes’ lead to 2-1. Virginia then struck again with two more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead, but Miami would respond quickly.

Harold Martinez led off the bottom half of the frame with a triple to left center.  Chris Pelaez then hit a hard ball towards second that Virginia’s Keith Werman could not handle, allowing Martinez to score easily to tie the game at three apiece.

The scoring continued in the top of the seventh as UVa plated three more runs, taking a 6-3 lead.

UMiami looked poised for its second large comeback in as many days in the eighth inning as a double from pinch hitter Chantz Mack cut the Cavs lead to 6-4, leaving runners on second and third with just one out.  After Zeke DeVoss walked, the heart of the order was due up, but both Nathan Melendres and Rodriguez struck out to end the threat.

Travis Miller (2-1, 2.70 ERA) took the loss for the Hurricanes – his first of the season. Justin Thompson got the win in relief for the Cavaliers, upping his record for the season at 3-1.

Now, Miami will play Wake Forest in the third game Saturday, originally scheduled for 3 p.m.  Due to the rain delay, the Florida State versus Georgia Tech game scheduled for Friday will be moved to Saturday at 9 a.m., with the Clemson versus North Carolina State match-up to follow 30 minutes after game one; and the Miami/Wake Forest match-up will take place 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.

Since the Hurricanes can now finish no better than 2-1 in pool play, and the Cavaliers – who hold both the head-to-head and seeding tiebreakers against the Canes – can finish no worse than 2-1 in pool play, Miami is mathematically eliminated from contention to reach the ACC Championship Game on Sunday.

Wake Forest, due to their loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday, is in the same situation, but can still influence the Pool winner based on their performance against North Carolina and UVa in their remaining games.

Miami will send sophomore RHP E.J. Encinosa (4-5, 3.00 ERA) to the mound tomorrow to face Wake’s LHP Austin Sadler (2-8, 8.56 ERA). Game time is set for approximately 4 p.m., depending on the speed of the two earlier games on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports South in the Miami-Dade area.

For more information on the ACC Baseball Tournament, please visit TheACC.com.

For more information on the University of Miami baseball team, please log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM Baseball Team via twitter, please navigate to Twitter.com/CanesBaseball. You can also access the official UMiami Baseball blog at TheUBaseball.com.

Fans can keep up-to-date with all UM Athletics via twitter at Twitter.com/HurricaneSports.  You can also become a fan of the Canes on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.

University of Miami Postgame Notes:

With the loss, the Hurricanes are now:

  • 35-21 overall
  • 2-1 in neutral site games
  • 16-11 in day games
  • 7-6 when wearing White “U” hats
  • 1-1 in Pool A competition

Lead It Off
Sophomore Zeke DeVoss led off the game with a hit by pitch, allowing him to reach safely to start the game for the Canes in four of the last five games.

The Boss, or Is It Da Boss?
Second baseman Zeke “Da Boss” DeVoss reach base safely with a hit by pitch in the first inning, running his streak of consecutive plate appearances reaching base to 12 before a strike out in the second inning.  DeVoss added a single in the eighth in an attempt to start a Canes rally, and also scored a run.

Mr. Popular
Junior Sam Robinson made his 33rd appearance of the season, pitching 1/3 of an inning.  His 33 appearances are the second most in the ACC.
Magic Number Six
The Hurricanes had one run in the bottom of the sixth inning, their 57th run during the sixth inning this season – 15 more than in any other inning this season.

If You Score, You Win, If You Don’t…
Miami plated just four runs today, making the Canes just 9-18 (.333) in games in which they score less than five runs.  On the other side, Miami is just 3-12 when allowing more than five runs to their opponent.

Making the Sacrifice
Miami laid down two sacrifice bunts tonight, giving them 63 sac bunts on the year [tops in the ACC].  Virginia is second with 43 sacrifices on the year.

Power Surge
Rony Rodriguez hit a monstrous shot over the famous Blue Monster in left field for his 11th home run of the year – tied for third-most in the ACC.  Rodriguez has hit the last three home runs for the Hurricanes

The Canes entered the day 18-1 when hitting at least one home run, marking just the second loss of the season for UM when they have gone deep.

Delayed Reaction
Heavy downpours and lightning stopped the game in the bottom of the second inning.  After seven hours and 24 minutes, the game finally resumed at 7:02 p.m. The delay began at 11:38 a.m.