With Miami coming off a rare loss in their ACC Tournament opener Vs GT, and Clemson fighting to make it back to the NCAA Tournament, tonight's pool play contest in Greensboro had a sense of urgency.
But UM could not find a clutch hit when they needed one, and lost 3-2 to Clemson, eliminating them from contention on Pool A despite a number 1 seed.
Miami Ace Chris Diaz, the ACC Co-Pitcher of the Year, labored to get outs early on.
A nice tag by Zack Collins on a play at the plate bailed him out in the second inning, and despite throwing a ton of pitches he escaped with out giving up a run.
This seemed to rally the 'Canes.
UM quickly loaded the bases against Tigers' starter Daniel Gossett on line singles by Alex Hernandez and Jacob Heyward, and a bunt single by Dale Carey. Gossett proceeded to plunk Collins and toss a wild pitch and Miami took a 2-0 advantage.
Diaz again found himself in trouble in the third, but this time did not manage to stay unscathed, giving up a run.
The Miami lefty never did quite find his rhythm but battled his way through 4 and 1/3 innings.
Both teams actually struggled with men on base but UM still held a precarious 2-1 lead, with Cooper Hammond coming on in relief and inducing a huge double play to end the 5th.
The next inning though, The 'Canes weren't as fortunate, and Hammond surrendered the equalizer on a long blast to right by Jon McGibbon.
White hot Dale Carey led off the 7th with a single as Miami tried to regain the lead. Carey had his second consecutive 3 + hit game. But Miami again could not plate him and the game remained tied.
Gossett proved to be very crafty with men on base.
In the eighth, the Tigers had a chance to take the lead as they were aided by a blown call at 1st base, and eventually had two runners in scoring position. But UM closer Bryan Garcia came on struck out and pinch hitter Mike Dunster to put out the fire.
Carey's 4th hit of the contest and a failed pick off attempt, got Miami in position to take the lead in the top of the 9th. Clemson reliever Drew Moyer came on though and retired David Thompson, as UM squandered yet another opportunity.
This time it would cost them. In the bottom half of the inning the Tigers would draw a lead off walk against Garcia and 3 batters later Steve Wilkerson would line a single to right to end it.
And with that, end Miami's chances at winning the ACC Tournament.
The 'Canes complete Pool Play Saturday 11AM Vs Duke.