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Rutgers 7, #24 Miami 5: Bad Luck

The Hurricanes couldn’t finish the sweep.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Miami vs UC Santa Barbara Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Hurricanes dropped Game 3 of their series vs the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 7-5 Sunday. They’ll look to regroup and defeat Missouri Wednesday before facing #1 Florida next weekend.

In the top of the first Evan McKendry got off to a fantastic start. The young righty struck out the side, and Miami went to the bottom of the first looking to provide their starter with some run support.

Rutgers freshman Harry Rutkowski went to the mound looking to keep up with McKendry, but things didn’t go well for the Scarlet Knights. Tony Jenkins put together yet another fantastic leadoff at-bat. Jenkins would manage to get himself to second, and Danny Reyes ripped an RBI double to give Miami the early 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes wouldn’t get anything else in the inning and we headed to the second.

The top of the second saw Rutgers once again go quietly. The bottom half would see a lot of action though. Michael Amditis reached first to start off the inning, and a double from Ray Gil would give Miami runners on second and third. Freddy Zamora would reach on an error that also scored Amditis, and a passed ball allowed Gil to score, giving Miami a 3-0 lead. A wild pitch would allow Miami to plate another run, and by the end of the inning Miami had a 4-0 lead.

In the top of the third things continued to go well for McKendry. The sophomore struck out Rutgers’ first two batters in the inning, and after allowing a two-out double, he struck out the last batter of the inning, Jawuan Harris, to kill the threat and record his seventh strike out on the day.

The bottom of the third saw more offensive production from the home side, as Danny Reyes managed to get himself to third base, and a sac-fly drove in Miami’s fifth run of the afternoon.

The top of fourth would be a disaster for the Hurricanes. Evan McKendry struggled, and let Rutgers load the bases with no outs. A dribbler that Mike Martinez beat out would let Rutgers score their first run of the afternoon, and an RBI single from Kyle Walker would score another. Another ball hit through the infield would plate two more runs for Rutgers, and Daniel Federman began to warm up for Miami. Another RBI single would tie the game as McKendry was replaced by Federman. An unlucky bounce off the glove of Alex Toral would give Rutgers a 7-5 lead before Miami could escape the inning.

After the disastrous fourth both sides bats’ remained very quiet for the next several innings, a few singles broke the monotony, but other than that the bullpens settled in and delivered.

For Miami, things started to get desperate in the bottom of the eighth. Danny Reyes laced a single to left field, but Michael Burns and Alex Toral were both retired to bring Michael Amditis to the plate. Amditis managed to make contact for a single, but Heatter recovered and struck out Ray Gil to end the inning with the Hurricanes still down two.

In the top of the ninth Andrew Cabezas managed to retire Rutgers in order to give the good guys one last chance to come back in the bottom of the ninth.

The bottom of the ninth didn’t go well for the Hurricanes. As they could only manage a single and let the game slip away. The Hurricanes lost 7-5 and will look to bounce back Wednesday against Missouri, with Michael Mediavilla on the mound.

Game Stats

Winning Pitcher: Eric Heatter (1-0, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K)

Losing Pitcher: Evan McKendry (0-1, 3.1 IP, 7 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 8 K)

Save: Karl Blum (1)

Box Score:

Next Game

Mid-week vs Missouri Tigers

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 21, 6:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Michael Mediavilla (0-0, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA)*

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: 790 The Ticket

*Stats from this season