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Miami 3, No.24 Virginia 2: Walk Off

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The Hurricanes earned a hard fought win in the first game of their series Friday.

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

The Miami Hurricanes secured a hard fought victory over the Virginia Cavaliers on Friday, moving the Hurricanes to a 10-11 (4-3 ACC) record on the season. This game turned into a pitcher’s duel, and even though Miami missed several opportunities. They still came out with the victory in the end.

The game started off very slowly for both teams. The Hurricanes and Cavaliers traded some hits and got some men on base, but neither side could manage to string enough offense together to score, until the bottom of the fourth. Dylan Cloonan came to the plate to lead off for the Hurricanes, and he cranked a double down the left field line that gave Miami a great scoring opportunity. Miami took advantage of the chance, Cloonan took third on a groundout, and Michael Burns drove him in after beating out a ground ball. As a result of their work in the inning Miami had a 1-0 lead going into the top of the fifth.

The Cavaliers would be retired quickly in the top of the fifth, but the bottom of the fifth saw yet more offense for the Hurricanes. Two singles from Ray Gil and Romy Gonzalez gave Miami two men on with just one out, and an RBI single from Freddy Zamora would drive in Gil from second. Before Miami could add on more runs in the inning Dylan Cloonan grounded into a double play, but the Hurricanes had stretched the lead to 2-0 heading to the sixth.

Virginia would come up with a response for the Hurricanes in the top half of the sixth. Two run scoring hits would come in the inning, an RBI single from Nate Eikhoff would make the game 2-1, and the game would be tied on an Alex Tappen double down the left field line. The Hurricanes managed to get out of the inning with no further damage, but the game was setting up to be a nail-biter.

The Hurricanes had a chance to score in the bottom of the seventh after an Isaac Quinones leadoff single gave Miami a baserunner. A sac bunt would move Quinones to second, and it appeared as if Quinones would be on third after a Ray GIl single, but Quinones tripped going back to third base, and he was tagged out. After that Romy Gonzalez ground out to end the inning, representing another missed chance for Miami.

The Hurricanes and Cavaliers traded chances throughout the rest of the game. The Hurricanes had men on third in the bottom of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh, but they couldn’t plate the winning run until the eleventh. In the bottom half of the frame the Hurricanes loaded the bases with no outs for freshman Ray Gil. Gil turned on a ball and cranked it for a single to score the winning run and give the Hurricanes a 3-2 win.

This was a tough, hard fought win for the Hurricanes, and hopefully they can build momentum off of it. It’ll be important to secure a series win either Saturday or Sunday, because the Hurricanes need to remain competitive in the conference as the team grows. It was vital for Miami to get this win after the disaster that struck Wednesday, but they’ll need to continue that through the rest of the series.

Game Info

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Bartow (1-0, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)

Losing Pitcher: Andrew Abbott (2-1, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K)

Save: None

Box Score:

Next Game

Date & Time: Saturday, March 24, 7:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Evan McKendry (3-2, 2.54 ERA)

Virginia Starter: Daniel Lynch (2-2, 3.58 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: 790 The Ticket