Hurricanes Drop Series Finale 6-4
March 25, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The ninth-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes finished up their series with the visiting Maryland Terrapins in disappointing fashion on Sunday, dropping the sloppy weekend finale by a final score of 6-4.
In a game that was anticipated as a pitcher’s duel, the competing offenses stole the show on a beautiful afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park. The opposing starters, Miami’s Steven Ewing and the Maryland’s Brett Harman, entered the game atop the conference leaderboard in almost every pitching statistic. In Sunday’s combined 27-hit attack, however, the Hurricanes were plagued by poor defense and untimely miscues.
Miami plated one run in each of the first four innings, powered by 10 hits in the game’s first four frames. Harman, who last allowed 11 hits in a Feb. 27, 2010 start against Delaware, also tied for a season-high with four earned runs allowed against the Canes.
The Hurricanes opened the game in unorthodox fashion, dropping down the bats for three consecutive bunt attempts. After Tyler Palmer and Dale Carey made their way on base with perfect lay-downs, senior slugger Peter O’Brien advanced the two runners over with a sacrifice bunt of his own. An RBI single to shallow centerfield from first baseman Brad Fieger gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the game at 1-0.
Miami tacked on another run in the second inning, using small ball once again to get the job done. After a double from junior infielder Stephen Perez, designated hitter Michael Broad laid down another successful sacrifice bunt to get Perez to third. An RBI single from Jarred Mederos that snuck through the left side of the Terrapin infield increased the team’s lead to 2-0.
An RBI single from Broad in the third inning agave the Canes a surprising 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning, where Harman looked to be out of sync. The Terps would claw their way back, however, scoring two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at 4-4.
Ewing, who finished the game with seven strikeouts in only five innings of work, allowed a season-high ten hits to the Terps offense. Four of those came in the fourth, where the Terps struck for their first two runs of the day.
After Jordan Hagel doubled to left field and stole third, Michael Montville knocked him in with an RBI single to left field. After back-to-back singles from the Terps loaded the bases, Ewing issued a walk to Alfredo Rodriguez that scored the second run of the inning. The Hurricanes infield turned a nifty 5-4-3 to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Reliever Adam Sargent (0-1) who entered the game with a scoreless streak dating back to Feb. 24, pitched his way out of a sixth-inning jam before a disastrous seventh inning for the Hurricanes. Rony Rodriguez misplayed a single in leftfield that cost the Hurricanes two bases, as Montville sped from first to third on the miscue. With reliever AJ Salcines in, Montville scored on an RBI single, giving the Terps their first lead of the night at 5-4.
An attempted pick-off throw from Salcines made its way past first baseman Esteban Tresgallo and into right field, advancing Wacker to third on the throwing error. The ball then snuck under Palmer’s glove in right field on the attempted pick-up, as Wacker crossed the plate on the two-error play to give the Terps a 6-4 lead in the seventh.
Eric Nedeljkovic and E.J. Encinosa combined for two scoreless innings, but the Hurricanes offense failed to convert against Maryland closer Jimmy Reed. The junior lefthander recorded his seventh save of the season, this one a three-inning stint that featured only one hit.
The Hurricanes return to action Wednesday with a home tilt against Saint Thomas before a road trip to Clemson, S.C. for a weekend series with the Tigers beginning Friday, March 30.