Baseball Ends Homestand with 5-4 Loss to FGCU

Baseball Ends Homestand with 5-4 Loss to FGCU
By Camron Ghorbi

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Hurricanes closed a season-long homestand on a disappointing note Wednesday, dropping a midweek game to visiting FGCU, 5-4, at Mark Light Field.

In a game marred by wind and rain, FGCU (26-9) took advantage of two Miami errors in the seventh, stringing together three runs to take its first lead of the game at 4-3.

The tarp was pulled with two outs in the seventh and a 45-minute rain delay ensued.

Once play resumed, Miami (15-18) responded with a run in the home half of the inning on an RBI single from redshirt senior Christopher Barr to knot the game at four.

But the Eagles pulled ahead in the eighth, as an RBI single from Alex Brait off Miami reliever Albert Maury, Jr. (2-1) proved the difference.

The Hurricanes left 11 runners on base, as FGCU’s Kenton Hering finished off a two-inning save in front of 2,474 fans.

The Eagles plated three unearned runs off sophomore reliever Andrew Cabezas in the seventh. Miami dropped a pair of flyballs in the inning, the latter of which scored a pair of runs.

Freshman righthander Greg Veliz delivered another sparkling performance, losing his no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth in a strong showing.

Veliz threw 87 pitches over 5.2 innings, surrendering just one hit with three walks. He struck out four batters and allowed two runs or fewer for the seventh time in eight collegiate starts.

The Hurricanes scored a run in the first inning, added another in the third, and out-hit the Eagles 9-4.

Miami took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single from sophomore Romy Gonzalez.

With senior Randy Batista on third after a walk, sacrifice bunt and a groundout, Gonzalez lifted a pitch from FGCU starter Peyton Gray to left for his team-leading 23rd RBI of the season.

Batista successfully reached base for the 12th straight game with the walk.

Miami doubled its lead in the third. Singles from senior Joe Gomez and junior James Davison, followed by a walk from Gonzalez, loaded the bases for senior Johnny Ruiz. The team captain, whose walk-off home run lifted Miami Saturday against Duke, came through with an infield single to push the hosts’ lead to 2-0.

Gray tossed 3.2 innings and scattered five hits. FGCU used eight pitchers in the game.

The Hurricanes next travel to Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a series with host Pitt. First pitch for Friday’s series opener, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6 p.m.

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