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Miami Falls Short in Final Midweek Game

by Josh White

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – For the second straight game, the Miami Hurricanes rallied. The Canes put the tying run on base and brought the go-ahead run to the plate.

But this time, Miami couldn’t find that crucial hit.

The Hurricanes dropped their home finale to FAU, 3-0, in front of 613 fans Tuesday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“Offensively was kind of anemic tonight. We couldn’t get anything going.” head coach Gino DiMare said. “Bottom line is we did not do a very job offensively. Our pitchers certainly did well enough to keep us in the game, but we just got shut out so disappointed, to say the least.”

Trailing 2-0 in the seventh inning, Miami (29-17, 17-15 ACC) found a little bit of a spark.

First baseman Alex Toral lined a base hit to left field and pinch hitter Chad Born followed with a single of his own. However, the next two Hurricanes hitters were set down, eliminating the threat.

“I feel like we hit some balls hard, but we just couldn’t get anything going offensively with guys in scoring position,” second baseman Anthony Vilar said. “Today we didn’t win and we got to take care of business.”

FAU (30-23, 18-14 C-USA) padded its lead in the following frame when B.J. Murray blasted his team-leading 14th home run over the left-field fence.

The visitors scored the game’s first run in the third inning. Owls’ outfielder Jalen DeBose ripped a double down the left-field line on the first pitch he saw.

One batter later, journeyman Jackson Wenstrom singled to right, plating DeBose and giving FAU a 1-0 lead.

The Owls doubled their tally in the seventh.

Bobby Morgensen led off the inning with a triple into the right-center field gap before DeBose pushed a bunt up the first baseline, putting FAU up, 2-0.

The Canes used six different pitchers in the contest, surrendering just seven hits. Miami’s pitching staff racked up seven strikeouts in the defeat.

“They all throw pretty good. They had their moments where they looked good,” DiMare said. “Overall, when you consider the fact that it was three runs over the game, and you’re using that many guys, they did a pretty good job.”

Right-hander Alex McFarlane made his fourth start of the season, firing two scoreless innings. McFarlane, who pitched the Hurricanes’ series opener against Georgia Tech four days prior, recorded two strikeouts while yielding just one hit and a walk.

Anthony Arguelles and Victor Mederos followed after McFarlane. The two newcomers pitched two innings apiece, just yielding a combined one run on three hits over the next four innings.

Jordan Dubberly, Spencer Bodanza and Daniel Federman teamed up to toss the final three frames.

Miami finished the year with a 7-1 record in midweek games, the best mark since the Hurricanes recorded a 12-1 ledger in 2016. Since DiMare took over the program in 2019, the Canes are 20-5 in midweek contests.

“It’s important. It’s certainly something that we’ve emphasized,” DiMare said. “I think we’ve done a good job in midweek games. It just stinks that we had to finish on this note right here.”

UM wrapped up its 2021 home slate, winning 14 of its last 16 games at Mark Light Field.

During the home finale, Miami announced its annual team awards.

Christian Del Castillo was named Hurricane MVP and Rookie of the Year, freshman southpaw Carson Palmquist earned the Ron Fraser Award as the team’s top pitcher, Vilar won the Bob Werner Award as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of a winner, and Yohandy Morales was crowned the Home Run Champion.

“It’s an honor. That’s what I pride myself in,” Vilar said. “It’s all about winning here. It feels good but today we didn’t win and we have to take care of this weekend.”

The Hurricanes conclude their regular season this weekend, traveling to play at No. 19 Louisville. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Jim Patterson Stadium.