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Miami Drops Series Opener to Florida State

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The No. 5 Canes fell to Florida State, 13-1, in the opening contest of this weekend’s three-game set at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“It is one game. We’ve got to be able to turn the page and get right back at it,” head coach Gino DiMare said. “The opening game against NC State, we played the worst game of the year, I think, and then we came back and were able to turn it around. We have lost the opening game of the series but were still able to come back. It’s just one of those things. It’s tough when you fall that far behind. Their pitcher is good and we knew he was going to be tough. You’re kind of in an uphill battle.:

The game got off to a tough start for the Hurricanes (9-5, 5-4 ACC), as the Seminoles put together a three-run rally in the opening inning against starter Alejandro Rosario. The runs snapped a 14-inning home scoreless streak for the true freshman, who entered the game with a 2-0 record and a 0.00 ERA at Mark Light Field.

“It was his worst outing as a Cane and his balls were up,” DiMare said of Rosario. “I think his composure maybe, too. He didn’t settle down and he was a little hyped up when they got some runs on him, big runs there. He’s got to learn from this experience and understand that he’s got to make adjustments, and he’s got to be able to relax and pitch.”

Miami nearly answered back in the bottom of the first, as Adrian Del Castillo doubled to left and Jordan Lala tried to score from first. Leftfielder Wyatt Crowell fired to shortstop Nander De Sedas who relayed to catcher Matheu Nelson and the FSU backstop applied the tag just before Lala touched the plate to end the inning.

“They played good defense when they had to make plays and they swung the bat,” DiMare said. “We didn’t play well. They executed everything they did. Drag bunts, moved guys over, scored with less than two outs and a man on third, they double cut and they threw us out there on a big play. Everything on our side, we couldn’t execute double cuts, we were throwing balls around, dropping them, letting them on the ground, letting guys take extra bases and didn’t play good defense and obviously didn’t swing the bat well. FSU, I thought played very well and we just didn’t play. So, we’ve got to turn the page and be ready to go tomorrow. Still can win the series. Baseball is a crazy game. We’ve got to be mentally tough to be able to turn the page.”

The Seminoles (8-6, 5-5 ACC) continued their success against Rosario in the second, plating four more runs before DiMare called for right-hander Jordan Dubberly out of Miami’s bullpen with runners on second and third and one out. Crowell hit a sacrifice fly to push home Nelson, capping a five-run second.

“I expect him to be fine,” DiMare said of Rosario. “This is part of baseball. He’s not going to go out every outing and dominate. That’s just not how it works. I expect him to be fine. He’s still our guy. I think this is a very good learning experience for him, and moving forward, he’ll be our guy next week on Friday.”

After Dubberly retired the first 10 batters he faced, the Seminoles had some success against the right-hander. FSU added three runs in the sixth before Nicholas Regalado replaced Dubberly on the mound.

In the seventh, Miami finally got something going against Seminoles starter Parker Messick. Pinch hitter Tony Jenkins singled to get his first hit since Feb. 20 at Florida and later scored on a wild pitch from reliever Chase Haney that got the Canes on the scoreboard, 11-1.

“Obviously, not a very good start to the series and to the game,” DiMare said. “We didn’t play well and I thought FSU played very well. They played a very, very complete game. Their pitcher threw well. We knew he was going to be tough, a tough guy to pick up. Left-handed and he kind of hides the ball and we’ve got a lot of lefties in the lineup. It’s tough when you fall behind eight to nothing in the first two innings and the game’s certainly not over and I don’t think we folded the tent. It’s just he was good. He pitched behind in the count good. He was able to throw his breaking ball and establish it for strikes, 1-0, 2-1, 3-2.”

Florida State added two more runs in the eighth off reliever Alex Munroe to cap their scoring for the night and snap Miami’s six-game winning streak.

“It is one game,” DiMare said. “If this carries over and there’s more than one game, then we’ve got a problem. But it’s one game and we played well for six games that we’d won in a row and we played pretty clean baseball. It just got away from us.”

The Canes and Seminoles are back in action Saturday at 7 p.m., with right-hander Victor Mederos set to face off against left-hander Bryce Hubbart.