Miami Rallies Once Again, Falls to Duke in Extras

Miami Rallies Once Again, Falls to Duke in Extras
By Camron Ghorbi

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami came up with a late game-tying rally to force extra innings, but faltered in the tenth and dropped its series finale to visiting Duke, 5-2.

The Hurricanes (15-17, 7-8 ACC), who strung together a thrilling five-run ninth to top the Blue Devils in the series opener Saturday, tied the game with a pair of runs in the eighth after struggling to generate any offense for the game’s first seven innings.

But Duke (17-17, 6-9 ACC) plated three runs in the 10th, regaining the lead on a two-out RBI single from leadoff hitter Jimmy Herron off Miami reliever Frankie Bartow.

The Blue Devils tacked on an insurance run on an RBI single from Zack Kone off Bartow (1-2) and added an RBI single from Griffin Conine before freshman Albert Maury, Jr., recorded the last out of the inning.

Miami was in search of its first series sweep, but came up short against Duke reliever Jack Labosky (2-2) in the home half of the 10th.

With just one hit through seven innings against Duke starter Ryan Day, Miami came in alive in the eighth facing a 2-0 deficit.

“Our guys battled hard,” head coach Jim Morris said. “Day threw outstanding. He had really good stuff. I don’t know how hard he was throwing, but he was throwing hard with a good breaking ball. He pitched really well, all night against us.”

Redshirt senior Edgar Michelangeli opened the eighth with a walk from reliever Nick Hendrix.

A double from redshirt senior Christopher Barr scored Michelangeli all the way from first on a hit to right field, halving the Duke lead. Junior Hunter Tackett bunted him to third, but pinch hitter Barry Buchowski struck out for the second out of the inning, putting the rally in jeopardy.

But senior Randy Batista, who came up with a clutch two-out, two-RBI double in Saturday’s come-from-behind win, converted once again, driving a pitch from Hendrix down the left field line for the game-tying single.

“We know in baseball, you have to take it a day at a time,” Barr said. “Everybody knows we’ve been struggling. But every day, we come out, we fight. We battle. Saturday we battled, we came back, and Sunday we did great. Tonight we battled and we came up a little bit short.”

With the hit, Batista successfully reached base for the 11th straight game.

“I feel like something we can build on,” Batista said about winning the series. “We almost had a chance tonight…just keep battling, keep playing hard. It’s all we can ask for.”

Duke struck first Monday night, plating a pair of runs off junior lefthander Michael Mediavilla in the second inning.

A sacrifice bunt after a double and walk put a pair of Duke runners in scoring position, and a single to the right side by Chris Proctor with the Miami infield pulled in opened the scoring in favor of the visitors.

The Blue Devils added a run on an RBI groundout by Herron.

The Miami offense, which scored 16 combined runs in the first two games of the series, was held in check by Day.

Miami’s first hit did not come until a one-out single by junior James Davison in the fourth.

Day struck out six batters over seven shutout innings. He needed just 88 pitches to get through his outing before being relieved by Hendrix to start the eighth.

Though he battled a high pitch count and issued a career high-tying five walks, Mediavilla did not allow another run after the second. He departed after 5.2 innings, and avoided any damage in the sixth when the Blue Devils had runners on second and third and no outs.

Mediavilla got a groundout to third that did not advance either runner. Barr then fired home on a ground ball from Proctor, and Joe Gomez applied the tag to get the lead runner.

Sophomore Andrew Cabezas entered in relief with two outs in the sixth and struck out Herron to keep the deficit at 2-0.

Cabezas went on to tie a career high with five strikeouts across 2.1 scoreless innings.

“We played [well] this weekend,” Morris said. “We won two out of three [games], and we have to move on and get ready for the next game. We’re 3-1 in the second half.

“That’s the way I’m looking at it.”

The Hurricanes close out their eight-game homestand Wednesday against FGCU. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6 p.m.

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