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Miami 12, No.8 Clemson 11: Comeback for the Ages!

The Mark Light magic made a trip up to the Carolinas.

Christopher Barr
Credit: Richard Lewis / Miami Athletics

This wasn’t the recap I was expecting to write.

The Miami Hurricanes are 14-19 (8-8 ACC) after an insane comeback against the No.8 Clemson Tigers. The ‘Canes were down by eight runs in the ninth inning before tying the game and eventually winning in the twelfth inning. Only time will tell if this turns the season around or is just consolation, but for now it’s time to celebrate!

The game got off to an exciting start, with nine runs scored in the first two innings. Miami scored twice in the top of the first, off a sac-fly from Gabe Rivera and an RBI single from Isaac Quinones. However, the lead wouldn’t last long, because Clemson responded in the bottom of the first. The Tigers loaded the bases, and a grand slam gave Clemson a 4-2 lead. In the top of the second Romy Gonzalez would put Miami within one run with a solo homerun, but Clemson would get two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to make the game 6-3.

After the excitement of the early innings both teams settled into the game, and another run was not scored until the bottom of the eighth. It seemed almost certain that the Tigers had the game in the bag after eight. Five insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, including a two-run homerun, gave Clemson an 11-3 lead. Considering that the Tigers have one of the top pitching staffs in the entire ACC, it seemed that the top of the ninth was just a formality...

But the Hurricanes wouldn’t go down without a fight...

Romy Gonzalez, a player that has struggled all season, put his fourth hit of the night into right field for a single to start the inning, and Hunter Tackett followed by drilling a grounder that forced an error in the field and gave Miami two men on. An Alex Toral single would then load the bases, and Miami was looking to show some pride in the top of the ninth. Freddy Zamora would then show some maturity by knocking a huge single right back up the middle to score two runs for Miami and make the game 11-5. Willy Escala would follow that with a single that loaded up the bases yet again for the Hurricanes. Gabe Rivera would then work a walk to make the game 11-6, and an Isaac Quinones hit would make the game 11-7 and bring the tying run to the plate. Michael Burns would keep the rally rolling with another RBI single, and a sac-fly from Romy Gonzalez would make the game 11-9. Then the go-ahead run, Hunter Tackett, came to the plate. Tackett worked a good count, and hit a long, deep fly-ball all the way to the wall in centerfield. For a moment it appeared as if the ball would be fielded, but it was just too much for the Clemson centerfielder and it dropped out of his glove. The play turned into a two-run double that tied the game at 11-11! An eight run top of the ninth inning would send us to the bottom of the ninth with the Clemson Tigers clearly shocked. This is one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen in a baseball game. It showed what Miami can do when they string hits together. Tonight was just the first time they truly found that ability all season.

Frankie Bartow would enter in relief for the Hurricanes, and the junior put in some of the best innings he’s given the Hurricanes all season. He gave Miami a chance to get the win in extras, and in the twelfth they took advantage of the opportunity.

Alex Toral, another player that has struggled all season, ripped a one-out double down the line to give Miami a great scoring chance. He was replaced by a pinch runner, Kam Lane, and in the next at-bat freshman Freddy Zamora drilled an RBI single that scored Miami’s twelfth, decisive, run.

Frankie Bartow would allow a few runners in the bottom of the inning, but then shut it down to give Miami the win.

This is a chance for the Hurricanes to start one final win streak to try to salvage the season, with Danny Reyes’ return to the lineup there is more talent on the diamond, or maybe it’s just consolation for a tough year. Either way we should celebrate, this is one of the rarest feats you’ll ever see in baseball, and just maybe it gives us some hope for next year.

Important news for tomorrow, the Hurricanes will most likely play a doubleheader due to expected inclement weather on Sunday. However, the doubleheader will only take place if the first game ends before 4:15. If not there will be an attempt to play the game on Sunday.

Game Info

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Bartow (2-0, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K)

Losing Pitcher: Carson Spiers (1-2, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K)

Save: None

Box Score:

(Tech issues, post when able)

Next Game

Date & Time: Saturday, April 14, 1:00 PM (Second Game of DH tentatively scheduled for 5:00 PM)

Hurricanes Starter: Evan McKendry (4-4, 4.14 ERA)

Clemson Starter: Brooks Crawford (3-1, 2.82 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM