The Miami Hurricanes are 23-25 (12-13 ACC) after a hard fought win against Virginia Tech Friday night. Miami has to win out, and even though it took extras they got the job done and took advantage of a great start from Jeb Bargfeldt.
Bargfeldt’s only mistake of the night came in the bottom of the first inning. A two run homer gave VT an early lead and shook the confidence of the Hurricanes, but Miami and Bargfeldt would come back strong. Jeb would go on to pitch seven innings of three walk, seven strikeout baseball. VT’s hitters were completely off balance after the bottom of the first, and they never really threatened again with Jeb on the mound.
In the top of the fourth the Hurricane hitters would put up their own response. Three straight walks loaded the bases for Danny Reyes, who ripped a single to left to make the game 2-1. Dylan Cloonan would be hit by a pitch in the ensuing at-bat, driving home a run that tied the game. A sacrifice fly from Hunter Tackett would follow, and that gave Miami a 3-2 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth.
Nothing of significance would happen until the top of the ninth. Ray Gil started the inning with a single, and Freddy Zamora would drive in a huge insurance run for Miami with a single that scored Gil.
However, things would turn south in the bottom of the ninth. Frankie Bartow allowed two runners into scoring position with no outs off a single and a double. He almost got out of the inning after two consecutive strikeouts put VT’s backs against the wall, but a two RBI single tied the game at 4. VT’s runner would move to second on the throw home. Miami appeared to be out of the inning after forcing a groundout and a throw to first that seemed to get the runner. The man on second tried to sneak into home on the play, and was safe, despite the runner at first being out. VT would challenge the play at first though, and the call was overturned, but the runner that “scored” was forced to go back to third. This caused extreme agitation from the VT dugout, and their head coach was ejected from the game for arguing. It was the right call in all aspects, but it’s easy to see how the Hokies would be upset. VT still had a chance to win the game in the ninth however, and a walk to load the bases only made things worse for the ‘Canes, fortunately Bartow got the third out and we got some free baseball in Blacksburg.
Both teams exchanged zeros on the scoreboard until the top of the twelfth. Tony Jenkins singled with one out, and attempted a steal of second during Isaac Quinones’ at-bat. The throw to second sailed into the outfield, and Jenkins took third on the error. Quinones would then walk, and Romy Gonzalez ripped a single up the middle to give Miami a 5-4 lead. The Hurricanes would load up the bases after Romy’s huge RBI, but couldn’t take advantage, and they hoped the pitching staff could prevent any damage in the bottom of the twelfth.
Fortunately Miami’s pitching staff did just that. Daniel Federman walked a batter with one out and was replaced by Cooper Hammond. Hammond would get the last two outs and Miami took the game 5-4. The ‘Canes now have a chance to get to .500 by sweeping this series, and the next two games may be the most important two game stretch of the entire season.
Winning Pitcher: Daniel Federman (2-4, 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K)
Losing Pitcher: Andrew McDonald (1-7, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K)
Save: Cooper Hammond (4)
@VT Game 2
Date & Time: Saturday, May 12, 3:00 PM
Hurricanes Starter: Evan McKendry (5-6, 3.86 ERA)
VT Starter: Connor Coward (2-5, 4.14 ERA)
Television: ACC Network Extra
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM