Miami Falls to UCF, 4-3

Miami Falls to UCF, 4-3

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The University of Miami baseball team suffered its first loss of the J.D. Arteaga era, falling to the UCF Knights, 4-3, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Wednesday evening.

After tapping into Mark Light Magic last Friday, the Hurricanes (3-1) nearly found their lucky stroke again.

Miami put the tying run 90 feet away and the winning tally on first, but UCF closer Chase Centala (2) slammed the door to secure the win for the Knights (2-0)

“I don’t think anyone expected us to go 56-0 or anything, so it was going to happen at some point,” Arteaga said. “I felt we played hard until the very end. We did hit some balls hard, but just the conditions today caused anything up in the air to get knocked down. We fought hard until the very end and there was no panic in the dugout, like there was no panic last Friday.”

After exploding for 43 runs during opening weekend, the Hurricanes were held in check in its first midweek contest of the year.

On a chilly and windy night, the Knights limited the Hurricanes to seven hits, including only two after the third inning.

Veterans Dorian Gonzalez Jr. and senior Carlos Perez notched back-to-back two-out singles to put Miami up in the first, 2-0.

“We came out with a lot of energy. The first three innings we were on cruise control,” Gonzalez Jr. said. “It’s our first time facing adversity. It’s always something to learn from. Nobody is going to hit the panic button. It’s our fourth game of the season. We have a great group of guys and we have trust that everything will be fine.”

UCF redshirt senior Andrew Brait got the visitors on the board with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Miami left fielder Lorenzo Carrier pushed the Hurricanes’ advantage back to three with an RBI double in the bottom half, but the Knights responded in a big way.

UCF scored three times in the fourth frame, highlighted by the eventual game-winning single from Florida transfer Matt Prevesk.

Redshirt senior Kyle Kramer (1-0) earned the win for the Knights after tossing a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Miami fifth-year right-hander Ben Chestnutt (0-1), who allowed five runs across 3.2 frames, was charged with the loss.

In the defeat, freshman right-hander Jordan Vargas shined in his collegiate debut. Vargas pitched four shutout innings, allowing only one hit. The rookie retired the first 10 batters he faced.

“I loved the way he attacked the strike zone,” Arteaga said. “To come out for the first time in your career, in a one-run game, and because of him, we have a chance to win that game. Anytime someone gets their first opportunity and responds in the way he did, that’s always a great sign moving forward.”

Up next, the Hurricanes welcome Long Island to Mark Light Field Friday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

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