Late Comeback Effort Falls Short in 6-5 Loss to UVA

Late Comeback Effort Falls Short in 6-5 Loss to UVA


Box Score
ACC Stats
Season Stats
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
VIRGINIA 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 10 2
MIAMI 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 5 9 1
W – C. Jones (8-1) 7.0 8 4 1 2 3
L – T. Woodrey (4-3) 4.2 8 5 5 1 1
MIA – E. Michelangeli  4 1 1 1 0 1
UVA – N. Eikhoff 4 1 2 3 0 0

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – TheNo. 1 Miami Hurricanes fought back from an early five-run deficit but fell just short Friday in their series opener with Virginia, as they dropped the first of three games by a final score of 6-5.

Trailing 6-4 in the ninth inning and down to its final three outs, Miami cut the deficit to one run on the first career home run from redshirt junior Edgar Michelangeli.

The Hurricanes (29-7, 13-4 ACC) then loaded the bases on walks from Randy Batista, Zack Collins and Brandon Lopez. But with two outs, Virginia righthander Tommy Doyle induced a flyout from junior Jacob Heyward to end the late rally and seal the win.

With the loss, Miami fell in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

“Virginia played a very good game. They have a really good club that started out slow and has been battling, has made some moves – in particular with their pitching,” head coach Jim Morris said. “They’ve been playing well lately.”

The Cavaliers (25-16, 10-9 ACC) struck for five runs in the game’s first inning to jump out to a commanding early lead, with the big hit coming on a three-run home run from Nate Eikhoff off senior lefthander Thomas Woodrey.

“They came in with a really good approach,” Woodrey said. “I thought I made some pretty good pitches, but made some pretty bad ones too…they came out swinging and were able to get some key hits in that first inning.”

Woodrey would settle down after the difficult start, however, retiring a string of eight straight batters that ended when Justin Novak walked in the fourth.

“That’s a team that comes out hungry every time,” Woodrey said. “We’re a good team, they’re a good team and this is a big ACC weekend. They came out how we expected them to come out.”

Miami got two runs back in the fourth on an RBI groundout from Willie Abreu and an RBI single from Christopher Barr. The inning opened with a double from Collins, who reached base for the 31st consecutive game, and continued when a throwing error by Novak at third put two runners in scoring position.

Collins finished the game 2-for-4 with two walks, and raised his average to a team-best .421.

Woodrey (4-3) had retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced when an 88-minute lightning delay ended his night prematurely in the top half of the fifth inning. He allowed eight hits with one strikeout in the 84-pitch outing before giving way to freshman righthander Andrew Cabezas when play resumed.

“I was able to get ahead. It’s easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count,” Woodrey said of the difference going through the Cavalier lineup for the second time. “I think that’s why I was successful in those later innings.”

Virginia righthander Connor Jones remained in the game after the delay and showed no signs of slowing down when he went three up, three down in the fifth.

 “Jones is one of the better pitchers in the conference. We knew we were going to have to play very well to beat him tonight,” Morris said.

Miami’s offense came alive in the sixth.

Heyward crushed a two-out, solo home run to left for the first run of the inning, while Barr followed with his second RBI single of the night to score Abreu, who reached via error, to cut the Virginia lead to 5-4.

Jones (8-1) allowed four runs (one earned) on eight hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out three batters and threw 113 pitches.

“The good thing was they scored their five runs in the first inning. Baseball is a long game,” Barr said. “We battled back every inning, just trying to scratch one run across, two runs across. We fought back.”

The Hurricanes threatened to take the lead in the seventh when they loaded the bases with just one out. Carl Chester singled, Johnny Ruiz doubled and Collins was issued an intentional walk, but Jones induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to maintain the Cavaliers’ lead.

Cabezas was masterful in relief, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings and surrendering just one single. He struck out three batters over a 43-pitch outing, which was just one out shy of tying a career long.

Cavaliers outfielder Cameron Simmons connected on a solo home run to open the ninth inning off freshman Frankie Bartow, extending Virginia’s late lead to 6-4.

Miami nearly tied the game in the home half, but a flyout with the bases loaded sent Miami to just its fifth lost in the past 29 games.

“We needed one more big hit at the end, and we could have won the game,” Morris said. “Give Virginia credit. They have a good club, they played hard and they pitched well.”

The two teams return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ESPN3 and 560 WQAM, is set for 7 p.m.