The Miami Hurricanes Baseball Team squandered a golden opportunity to make a strong case for a National Seed and an ACC Tournament Title, with a disappointing 5-4 loss to NC State tonight in extra innings.
George Iskenderian's RBI single to right scored Ricky Eusebio to open the scoring for Miami in the top of the 1st, and things were looking good.
In the top of the third UM again put a lot of pressure on NC State and again their lead off man was the spark.
Eusebio led off with his second straight walk and stole second. Chris Barr followed suit with a base on balls of his own.
Will Gilbert then came on in relief for Pack starter Cory Wilder, who was lived up to his name and was wild from the onset, and he too had control issues and walked Iskenderian to load the bases.
Zack Collins quickly made it 2-0 with a sac fly that just barely scored Eusebio.
However, the 'Canes left the bases loaded and NC State used the momentum in the bottom half of the inning, to tie things up on a 2 run single by Logan Ratledge.
But Miami responded right back the next frame,as Eusebio again came through, this time with an RBI single. UM would tack on one more run in the 4th to make it 4-2.
That would be it for the Hurricanes offense for the night.
UM starter Andy Suarez settled in from for a bit to keep Miami ahead, but in the bottom of the 7th, he surrendered a solo homer to Ryne Williard to slice the lead to 4-3.
The 'Canes bats reallt went ice cold in the latter half of the game.
UM turned to Cooper Hammond in the 7th to stay in front, and he came through with two outstanding innings. Hammond allowed just one hit and struck out two in the a pair of scoreless frames.
In the bottom of the 9th, Jim Morris went to closer Bryan Garcia to close it out, and he struck out the lead off batter.
But a one out walk to Shane Shepard, was followed by a single and an RBI ground out to tie the game.
That set the stage for extra innings.
Both teams put on swing and miss clinics for a few innings, until David Thompson started the top of the 12 with an opposite field double. Unfortunately for UM, they couldn't come up with another big hit and he was left stranded at 3rd.
With the door open for a dramatic win, NC State capitalized as Preston Palmeiro doubled to left and raced all the way home on a 2 base error by left fielder Carl Chester.
And with that the Pack, who now own wins over UM and Notre Dame, win Pool B of the Tournament and automatically earn a bid in Sunday's Championship Game.
Miami may have also lost a National Seed. We will find out in a few days.
Next up: UM plays Notre Dame tomorrow at 3 PM in the final game of Pool Play, in what is essentially a meaningless game.