No. 13 Miami Comes Up Short to No. 14 UCF
April 4, 2012
April 4, 2012
|8||9||R||H||E||W: E. Skoglund (4-1)|
|Knights||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||2||0||4||4||1||L: J. Salas (3-1)|
|Hurricanes||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||7||2||S: J. Rogers (7)|
2B: M. Broad (6), S. Perez (5) | D. Hicks 2 (5)
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Offense was in short supply this past weekend in South Carolina, as the Hurricanes plated a total of six runs in three conference road games against Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Unfortunately for Head Coach Jim Morris and staff, the team’s offensive struggles continued Wednesday at home against the visiting No. 14 UCF Knights, as the team fell by a final score of 4-1.
Making his first career start for the Hurricanes, sophomore righthander Javi Salas pitched effectively in the team’s midweek battle. Salas, who allowed only two hits and two runs (one earned) in his 5.1 innings of work, earned the loss in large part to the inability of the offense to collect timely hits.
Only four Hurricane hitters recorded basehits, while the sixth through ninth batters in the line-up went a combined 2-for-15 in the disappointing defeat. The Canes were powered by Peter O’Brien (2-for-3), Dale Carey (1-for-3, two walks) and Michael Broad (2-for-4, double).
Salas’ mistakes, which were far and few in between on Wednesday, were the statistically deciding factors in the team’s loss to the Knights. But after Salas allowed a solo homerun in the third inning off the left field foul pole to Ronnie Richardson, the Coral Gables, Fla. native strung together an impressive start against a talented offense.
A miscommunication by Carey and Rony Rodriguez in the outfield helped lead to the Knights’ second run in the fourth, as Salas exited the game in the sixth with a line of only 80 pitches thrown with 44 of them going for strikes.
Miami almost opened the game’s scoring in the first inning, as Carey walked and O’Brien singled to left field. On Brad Fieger’s groundout, Carey advanced to third and O’Brien to second. But an inning-ending groundout from Rodriguez with two outs ended the threat, keeping the game scoreless heading to the top of the second.
The Knights would be the ones to tally first, as Richardson ripped a ball down the leftfield line that looked like it would curve foul. Instead, it hit the pole with a loud thud, becoming the first homerun allowed by Miami pitching in seven games (March 21, FAU).
UCF tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning to give themselves a commanding 4-1 advantage late in the game. In the end, the Knights needed only four hits to get the job done against Miami; the Canes used effective performances from five pitchers, but could not come up with enough offense to sweep the Knights in their two-game.
Miami returns to action on Friday, as they open a three-game set with third-ranked North Carolina at Alex Rodriguez Park on Friday.