GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Top-seeded Miami ended its run at the 2014 ACC Championship on a high note Saturday afternoon, dropping fourth-seeded Duke by a final score of 6-5 at NewBridge Bank Park.
With the game tied up 4-4 in extra innings, freshman Jacob Heyward laced a double into the left-center gap to open the 12th inning. After taking third on a sacrifice bunt from senior Dale Carey, Heyward raced home on a wild pitch from Duke reliever Andrew Istler to put Miami ahead 5-4.
Zack Collins, named ACC Freshman of the Year earlier in the week, added a solo home run off Istler to put Miami ahead 6-4.
Freshman Cooper Hammond entered in the bottom of the 12th and was charged with a run on an RBI single from Mike Rosenfeld, but senior Javi Salas recorded a three-pitch strikeout for the final out of the game to earn his career-first save.
"It's a big win - a tough one," head coach Jim Morris said. "This conference is tough...anybody can win in this tournament."
With Miami leading 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth, a two-run home run from Duke pinch hitter Cris Perez off Miami closer Bryan Garcia tied the game 4-4 and sent the game into extra innings.
The Hurricanes showed some resiliency, however, as Garcia shut the Blue Devils down through the 10th and 11th innings and Heyward and Collins came up with big late hits in the 12th.
"At first I hesitated a little bit, because I couldn't really tell where it was going," Heyward said of his game-winning run. "But I listened to my coach, realized the ball was gone and took off."
After dropping its first two Pool A games in close fashion, the Hurricanes extended their winning streak over the Blue Devils to five consecutive games with an impressive all-around performance. Redshirt junior Bryan Radziewski tossed 5.2 solid innings on the mound to earn the victory, while sophomore Thomas Woodrey pitched 3.1 strong innings in relief.
"Our guys played well," Morris said. "Radziewski had another good game pitching, and Heyward had his first multi-hit game and scored the game-winning run. That's huge for a freshman."
The Hurricanes (41-17) opened the scoring in the game's first inning, tagging Duke lefthander Trent Swart for two quick runs. Singles from Dale Carey and David Thompson put runners on the corners, and a balk call on Swart scored Carey from third to make it 1-0.
Aided by blustery conditions, a double from Willie Abreu dropped past the outstretched glove of Mark Lumpa in right-center to score Thompson for a 2-0 Miami lead.
Radziewski worked himself into a jam in the second inning, loading the bases on a hit batter, double and a walk. After Radziewski struck out David Perkins and induced a foul pop-up from Kenny Koplove, Lumpa drew a bases-loaded walk to cut Miami's deficit to 2-1. A hard-hit groundball from Andy Perez towards the rightside threatened to tie the game, but Radziewski caught Thompson's throw and stepped on first base just before a sliding Perez to keep Miami ahead by a run.
The two teams traded runs in the fifth, with Miami taking a 3-1 lead on an RBI single from Tyler Palmer. Freshman Jacob Heyward, who led off the inning with a single and took second on Carey's sacrifice bunt, was waved home on Palmer's chopper through the rightside.
Duke rightfielder Ryan Deitrich made a nice throw towards catcher Mike Rosenfeld, but Heyward slapped home plate on a terrific slide to give Miami a two-run lead in front of a crowd of 3,572.
The Blue Devils (33-25) got the run back on an RBI single from Chris Marconcini in the home half of the inning, however, cutting Miami's lead to 3-2.
Radziewski (8-2) was removed in the sixth with runners on the corners, as Woodrey entered in relief and immediately recorded the final out of the inning. In an effort to catch Koplove stealing second, Woodrey fired to second baseman Alex Hernandez - but with the runner wavering in the basepaths, Hernandez went to catcher Zack Collins instead. The freshman backstop applied the tag at home to Duke leftfielder David Perkins for the final out, protecting Miami's one-run lead.
Raziewski yielded six hits and four walks in his 5.2 innings, striking out six batters on the afternoon and moving into sole possession of seventh place in all-time strikeouts (324).
Miami bumped its lead to 4-2 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Brandon Lopez. A single from Collins and a walk from Thompson off Duke reliever Nick Hendrix prompted a second call to the bullpen. With runners on the corners, righthander Robert Huber entered to face Lopez.
The sophomore shortstop battled his way to an 11-pitch at bat, driving the final one deep enough into centerfield to plate Collins for a 4-2 lead.
"I think they've done a really good job,” Morris said. “They’re a really good club. It’s the best Duke club I can remember, and I can remember playing Duke a long time.”
With a runner on first base, freshman closer Bryan Garcia entered looking to secure the save. Instead, Perez laced an offering to deep left to tie the game 4-4.
Heyward’s double into the left-center gap jumpstarted Miami’s 12th inning, while Collins solo home run – a mammoth blast over the rightfield fence – helped seal the win for the Hurricanes.
“Every win is huge, and we definitely didn’t want to go into the postseason losing three in a row,” Radziewski said.
Miami will look to extend its postseason streak to 42 consecutive years when the 16 host sites for NCAA Regionals are announced Sunday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET. ESPNU will reveal the entire NCAA field of 64 in the Division I Baseball Selection Show “The Road to Omaha” on Monday, May 26. The one-hour long special begins at noon.