Baseball Drops Matchup to Texas Tech 3-0
#23 TEXAS TECH
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
|D. Dusek (7-0)
|C. Diaz (9-1)
|C. Taylor (2)
|Proudfoot, T., Gutierrez, E.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Top-seeded Miami was handed its first loss at the NCAA Coral Gables Regional by second-seeded Texas Tech Saturday night, as the Red Raiders came away with a 3-0 victory in a winner’s bracket matchup at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Hurricanes lefthander and 2014 ACC-Co Pitcher of the Year Chris Diaz tossed 7.1 strong innings for the regional hosts, but Red Raiders starter Dylan Dusek was up to the challenge. The lefty kept Miami off-balance, allowing just four hits with three strikeouts through eight solid innings.
“First off, congratulations to Texas Tech on the win,” head coach Jim Morris said after the game. “They did a good job. Their pitcher pitched outstanding, he had a good gameplan, and stuck with it all day.”
The loss forces Miami into an elimination game against No. 4 Bethune-Cookman to be played Sunday at 2 p.m. If the Hurricanes emerge victorious, they will have a rematch with the Red Raiders tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
“We have to swing the bat batter…we have to have more opportunities, and we have to take advantage of the opportunities we have,” Morris said.
Miami (42-18) looked like it might open the scoring in the game’s first inning when Dale Carey was hit by a pitch and Zack Collins cracked a one-out double to right. But with runners on second and third and just one out, Dusek retired David Thompson on a shallow popout and Brandon Lopez on a groundout to maintain the early deadlock.
It was the Red Raiders (42-18) who struck first Saturday, tagging Diaz for two runs in the top half of the second. Bunt singles from Ryan Long and Devon Conley put two runners on base, and Tim Proudfoot put Texas Tech ahead with an RBI single to left.
A wild pitch from Diaz plated Conley from third for the Red Raiders’ second run, but Diaz struck out Tech leadoff hitter Stephen Smith to escape any further damage in front of 2,350 at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Miami had a two-out rally going in the fourth, with Lopez (single) on second and Alex Hernandez (walk) on first. A catcher’s interference call during Jacob Heyward’s at bat loaded the bases, but Dusek induced a soft pop-up from Carey for the final out of the inning.
“I was trying to do too much,” Carey said of the at bat. “I got away from my approach I was going with the whole game…I chased a pitch up and in, which I know better than to do.”
The Hurricanes struggled to generate much offense in the later innings against Dusek, who set a season high with eight innings pitched. Miami connected for just one hit off the lefthander after the fourth inning – a sixth-inning single by Johnny Ruiz – and could not overcome the early deficit.
“We haven’t faced a lefty quite like him in a while,” Morris said of Dusek. “A lot of fastballs and change-ups. He did a great job of keeping us off-balance, and our guys had trouble with that.”
Ruiz finished the night 2-for-3, recording his seventh multi-hit game of the season in the defeat.
Diaz (9-1) matched Dusek (7-0) in the middle innings, retiring 10 consecutive batters through the start of the eighth, when the first two batters of the inning reached. A sacrifice bunt from Tech’s Tyler Neslony advanced both runners into scoring position, signaling the end of Diaz’ night after 7.1 strong innings. The Florida City, Fla., native surrendered five hits and three earned runs, striking out six batters while walking three.
“I felt I got better as the game went on,” Diaz said. “In the first two innings, I was struggling a little bit, but I came back and battled.”
Miami put two runners on base in the ninth on singles by Brad Fieger and Alex Hernandez. But Tech reliever Corey Taylor induced flyouts from Carey and Ricky Eusebio and extinguished Miami’s hope for late theatrics.
“We had a couple of opportunities, especially me – I had a lot of opportunities tonight with two outs and runners in scoring position, but just didn’t get the job done,” Carey said. “Turn the page. Tomorrow’s a new day.”
The Hurricanes will battle fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman tomorrow in an elimination game slated for broadcast on ESPN3. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. from Alex Rodriguez Park.