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Hurricanes Split Doubleheader with No.8 Clemson

The Hurricanes went 1-1 on Saturday

photo credit by credit Richard Lewis/Miami Athletics.

The Miami Hurricanes are 15-20 (9-9 ACC) after splitting a Saturday doubleheader with No.8 Clemson. Miami really needed a sweep from this series, and coming up short in the final game of the three game set was very disappointing.

Miami won the first game off a great performance from Evan McKendry. The young righty gave Miami a complete game. In which he allowed just one run and six hits. Meanwhile the Hurricanes were great at the plate in the game, scoring six runs on one of the best pitching staffs in the ACC.

Miami opened the scoring in Game 1 with a four run rally in the fourth inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases for Romy Gonzalez, who knocked an RBI double to score two. Isaac Quinones would score on a groundout for Miami’s third run of the day, and a sac-fly scored Romy Gonzalez and made the game 4-0 in favor of Miami.

Miami extended the lead in the top of the sixth. Miami got runners on the corners with one out after a perfectly executed hit and run, and a walk loaded the bases for the second time in the game. An RBI groundout would make the game 5-0, but the Hurricanes couldn’t get anything else going and the inning ended with a weak groundout.

The Hurricanes threatened again in the seventh, after a double and a walk gave the ‘Canes two men on. Unfortunately Miami couldn’t push anything across, and it remained a five run lead.

Evan McKendry’s lone mistake came in the bottom of the seventh. Willy Escala made a great play to get Miami the second out of the inning, but a runner moved to third on the play. In the ensuing at-bat Escala nearly made another great play, but his throw pulled Alex Toral from first and let the runner score from third. In actuality McKendry didn’t really allow solid contact all day, but he had some bad luck with how the ball bounced in this inning.

In the top of the eighth an Alex Toral RBI single scored Miami’s sixth run, and when all was set and done Miami took Game 1 by a score of 6-1.

The second game of the day wouldn’t go as well.

The Hurricanes took an early lead, as the top of the second would see two runs come across home plate for Miami. Isaac Quinones led off the inning with a double, and a deep fly ball off the bat of Romy Gonzalez pushed him to third. Michael Burns would then drive an RBI double to the right field corner to score Miami’s first run. Burns would follow his double by stealing third, and then scoring on a groundout to give Miami a 2-0 lead. The Hurricanes would follow the runs with an attempt at a two-out rally after two singles and a walk loaded the bases. Disappointingly Willy Escala flew out to centerfield and Miami missed an opportunity.

Andrew Cabezas would start to show signs of struggle in the second inning. A single on a pitch left high in the zone and a HBP gave Clemson two runners, but Cabezas would work out of the jam. He came back from his rough second with a solid third and fourth inning, but things totally fell apart in the fifth. The Tigers scored seven runs in the inning, partly due to bad defense and partly due to bad pitching. An error would give CU two runners in scoring position with no outs, and a walk would load the bases. A two RBI double tied the game at two, and an infield single made the game 3-2. Following that Clemson really blew the game open with a grand slam that made the score 7-2 in favor of the Tigers.

Cabezas would struggle again in the sixth, and after he allowed Clemson’s eighth run of the day he was replaced by Daniel Federman. Federman was extremely solid in relief, giving Miami 2.1 innings of solid pitching. Ultimately the Hurricanes couldn’t get anything going at the plate in the seventh or eighth. In the ninth Miami got one run back after a Freddy Zamora RBI single, but it was too little, too late and the Hurricanes dropped the game 8-3.

This is the fourth consecutive season Miami has taken the yearly series against Clemson, and it is also the first road series win on the season for the Hurricanes. We’ll see if Miami can get any sort of momentum going from this weekend’s success, but the loss in Game 2 of the doubleheader was a missed opportunity to get a much needed 3-1 week. Overall a series win against a Top 10 team is about as much as you could ask for in a weekend, but it ultimately just isn’t enough for the Hurricanes, they need winning records week in and week out for the rest of the season.

Game Info

Game 1

Winning Pitcher: Evan McKendry (5-4, 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K)

Losing Pitcher: Brooks Crawford (3-2, 3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K)

Save: None

Box Score:

Game 2

Winning Pitcher: Jake Higginbotham (5-1, 7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 8 K)

Losing Pitcher: Andrew Cabezas (3-4, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 9 K)

Save: None

Box Score:

Next Game

Vs FGCU

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 18, 6:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Chris McMahon (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

FGCU Starter: Evan Lumbert (4-1, 2.57 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM