The Hurricanes took a dramatic victory over the Florida State Seminoles 5-4 on Saturday, the series is now tied 1-1, and a rubber match is set for Sunday.
Michael Burns provided 80% of Miami’s offense with a huge grand slam, and Michael Mediavilla put together a nice start. He allowed only 3 ERs over 6 and 2/3 innings pitched.
After taking a 3-0 lead after the top of the third. FSU looked to take control and not look back, but a rally from Miami came together. Nico Baldor started off the bottom of the third with a seemingly harmless single for the ‘Canes first hit of the game, but then Joe Gomez followed with a walk, and Miami was threatening. Tyler Holton, the Noles’ starter was by then clearly flustered, and Randy Batista was plunked to load the bases for Michael Burns. Burns then came through for his second grand slam of the year, as he turned on a ball and drove it to give Miami a 4-3 lead.
After the third both pitchers appeared to settle in, with Midtown absolutely dealing, as he accumulated 10 Ks over his outing. Tyler Holton was also cruising after the third, as he pitched well for the Noles, amassing 5 Ks over his 6.1 IP and allowing only one hit after the bottom of the third.
While Mediavilla was dominant for much of his outing, the second and third innings were ones he would like to forget. The second inning was started with a leadoff homerun that gave FSU a 1-0 lead. While Midtown did get out of the rest of the inning quite easily, anytime a pitcher gives up a round tripper it is an inning they’d like to forget. His third inning was not as pretty however, as it was marked by a full on FSU rally. A walk and single consecutively with one out put Mediavilla in serious danger of relenting another run, and another walk to load the bases left Midtown looking for how to limit damage rather than prevent it. Midtown unfortunately did allow that damage, as Quincy Nieporte connected for a two out, two RBI single to make FSU’s lead 3-0 at the time.
Andrew Cabezas entered in relief with two outs in the top of the seventh. He quickly struck out the first batter he faced to send it to the bottom of the seventh, but after a quick bottom half he was sent back out for the top of the eighth. On the very first pitch of the top of the eighth inning Cabezas gave up a Jackson Lueck solo homerun that tied the game at 4-4. While many of us may be concerned that Cabezas’ struggles from earlier are the season are flaring back up again. I will point out that he put together 3.1 innings of beautiful pitching marred by one mistake. If Cabezas didn’t put on the performance he had tonight the ‘Canes would not have won this game.
It is also extremely important that Mediavilla and Cabezas put together great performances tonight, as it allowed Miami to give their bullpen some much needed rest, especially with the rubber match vs FSU tomorrow.
Now we get to the part you’ve all been waiting for, the bottom of the tenth inning. Joe Gomez started out the inning with a harmless flyout to centerfield. Brandon Gali then came to the plate, and in extra innings you will take anything you can to get on base, and Gali executed that timeless baseball rule to perfection. He reached on one of the luckiest and unique plays in baseball, he hit a groundout towards the direction of third baseman Dylan Busby. Busby let the ball roll, thinking he didn’t have much of a chance to make the play, and just as the ball looked like it might go foul, it hit the bag, giving Miami a baserunner...
He followed the rule: Reach anyway you can...
The hero of the night Michael Burns then approached the plate. During his at bat Gali stole second base, giving Burns a man on second with a chance to win Miami the game. Michael Burns didn’t make good contact on a 3-2 pitch though, he hit a groundout to FSU shortstop Taylor Walls, who looked like he had an easy throw to first base. Fortunately it appeared as if Brandon Gali would at least advance, but then the throw went wide of the bag, and Brandon Gali ran proudly towards home and victory with an arm raised high in the air.
This is undoubteldy a huge victory for this struggling Miami team, a team that is in need of a run, a miracle stretch to propel them to the NCAA tournament. Even though FSU is struggling in the ACC this year. They needed something magical to happen, and they got it tonight.
Now the Hurricanes face what Jim Morris is calling their biggest game of the year...
Great win and crowd tonight! Need U back tomorrow! Game time 12:00 with weather issues. Veliz pitching for Canes! Biggest game of year. 3— Jim Morris (@Coach3morris) April 23, 2017
Will the Hurricanes come to play? Or will they fade once again?
Winning Pitcher: Andrew Cabezas (1-2, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3.1 IP)
Losing Pitcher: Alec Byrd (2-2, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.0 IP)
Tomorrow, April 23, *12:00 P.M Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Greg Veliz (3-2, 2.41 ERA)
Radio: 560 WQAM
Television: ACC Network Extra
*Denotes that time was changed from 1:00 to 12:00 for weather.