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Baseball Drops Heartbreaker to No. 3 Virginia

5
#3 VIRGINIA
19-4 • 7-2 ACC

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 5 7 1
0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 1

Coral Gables, Fla. • Mark Light Field
Attendance: 2,607

3
MIAMI
13-12 • 5-4 ACC

  Pitching Stats
  W C. Jones (3-0)
  L B. Garcia (2-2)
  S N. Howard (6)
  Batting Stats
  2B
  Collins, Z. (4)
  Coman, R., Pinero, D.
  3B
  Abreu, W. (1)
  RBI
  Abreu, W. 3 (13)
  Cogswell, B., Pinero, D., Howard, N. 3

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — No. 3 Virginia struck for two runs in the ninth, and the Miami Hurricanes dropped their series finale with the visiting Cavaliers 5-3 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

A double from Daniel Pinero that dropped inside the foul line and past the outstretched glove of freshman Willie Abreu put two runners on base in the top of the ninth with the scored tied up 3-3. Virginia first baseman Nick Howard drove both runners in with a two-RBI single off reliever Bryan Garcia (2-2), and Miami fell in front of 2,607 fans.

“Virginia has an outstanding club – you have to give them credit for that,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We’re that close to being a good club. We made a couple of mistakes offensively and defensively…you can’t do that against a good club and expect to win.”

The Hurricanes (13-12, 5-4 ACC) opened the scoring for the second consecutive night, as the career-first triple from Abreu emptied the bases and made it 3-0 in favor of the hosts. Virginia starter Brandon Waddell allowed back-to-back singles to shortstop Brandon Lopez and catcher Garrett Kennedy to open the frame, and a sacrifice bunt from Dale Carey advanced both runners into scoring position.

After Tyler Palmer’s hard-hit grounder was fielded cleanly by Waddell for the second out of the inning, Miami’s scoring chance was put in jeopardy. But Waddell intentionally walked senior Brad Fieger, and Abreu delivered a triple under the glove and past a sliding Mike Papi in left field to put the Hurricanes ahead 3-0.

Miami connected for six hits off Waddell in the game’s first four innings after being held to just three hits total in an extra-innings loss Sunday night. Three RBI on the night for Abreu – all on the bases-clearing triple – marked a new career high.

After not allowing a hit through the game’s first four innings, Miami starter Bryan Radziewski was tagged for four hits and three runs in the fifth, when Virginia (19-4, 7-2 ACC) came back to tie the game 3-3. Cavaliers first baseman Robbie Coman led off the ninth with a ground rule double off the glove of Abreu in right, and a single from third baseman Kenny Towns put runners on the corners.

“It was a great game. It came down to little things,” Radziewski said. “I think they scored their runs in the fifth – we had a couple bad breaks, and that’s what cost us the ballgame.”

Radziewski yielded two RBI singles and an RBI groundout before getting Joe McCarthy to pop out to short to end the inning.

After a flawless sixth, Radziewski returned to the hill for the seventh over 100 pitches deep into his outing. He would work himself into a jam with two more walks, but struck out Papi and got Nick Howard on his 120th and final pitch of the night to keep the score knotted 3-3. He exited the game with a career high-tying six strikeouts, but also fanned seven batters – bringing his season total to a team-high 39.

“It was a great game. It came down to little things,” Radziewski said. “I think they scored their runs in the fifth – we had a couple bad breaks, and that’s what cost us the ballgame.”

Entering in relief of Radziewski in the eighth, freshman Bryan Garcia allowed a leadoff single to McCarthy. The Virginia rightfielder would advance to third on a groundout and a flyout, putting a runner in scoring position with Coman up to bat. But with two outs, Palmer made a diving catch in left, snaring Coman’s go-ahead bid for the final out of the eighth.

But Garcia would work himself into trouble in the ninth when he walked Brandon Cogswell with one out. Pinero drove a 1-1 pitch into deep right, and Abreu dove but could not come up with the ball – which landed inches inside the foul line. Howard made Miami pay, driving in both runners and giving Virginia a 5-3 lead.

“There’s nothing else to say – I should have made the play,” Abreu said. “It’s tough to say I didn’t make the play. Unfortunately I didn’t make it. I’m going to work hard every day to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Freshman Zack Collins led all hitters with his career-first three-hit game, going 3-for-3 at the plate.

“We hung in tough with the No. 3 team in the nation,” Radziewski said. “It shows where we’re at as a club. If we can hang in with the No. 3 team, we can hang in with anyone.”

Miami returns to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Wednesday for a midweek matchup with Florida Gulf Coast. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Season tickets to Miami’s 2014 season at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field start for as low as $99, with a Family Plan option (two adult tickets, three youth tickets) covering all home games available for just $199. For more information, visit CanesTix.com or call (305) 284-2263.