Miami could’ve tied Georgia Tech for the ACC Coastal Division lead with a win on Monday night...
But a series of mistakes and mental errors cost the Hurricanes a sweep over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
A disastrous five run bottom of the eighth that cost the Hurricanes the game was a microcosm for the entire evening. In the inning Miami walked two batters, allowed one to advance on a wild pitch, and then let the best batters in the Wake Forest lineup drive in the batters who had reached ahead of them. Back-to-back home runs provided the exclamation point on a rally from Wake that left Miami shocked in the visitor’s dugout
The Demon Deacons walked six times in the game, and added on twelve more hits. Allowing 18 baserunners in a game, with six coming from free passes, is not a way to win. In reality, Miami is lucky that they didn’t allow more runs.
In fact, the Hurricanes were in control for much of the evening. Alex Toral gave Miami a 2-0 lead by hitting his 19th home run of the season in the top of the second. In the top of the fourth Miami extended their lead from 2-1 to 4-1 with a two-run rally started and sustained by timely hitting and good baserunning.
Despite the offense putting seven runs on the board, the pitching staff couldn’t perform well enough to give Miami the sweep. After Miami took the aforementioned 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth, Hurricanes pitching allowed Wake Forest to tie the game with a two run bottom of the fourth and a one run bottom of the fifth.
Miami’s offense bailed out their bullpen, scoring a run in the seventh and the eighth to give the ‘Canes a two run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. However, the five run bottom of the eighth ensued and destroyed any hope of a sweep this weekend.
On a more positive note, Chris McMahon made his return from injury tonight. He was on a pitch count, but threw 2.2 solid innings, allowing just one run that easily could’ve been scored as unearned.
Now Miami will look to regain the momentum that they had built over Friday and Saturday ahead of a crucial series against Duke this weekend. If Miami sweeps, they would still have a good chance for the division title, but anything less than that would probably see Miami finish second or third in the division, as Georgia Tech plays Pitt, who’s last in the division, this weekend.
Winning Pitcher: Tyler Witt (4-1, 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K)
Losing Pitcher: Daniel Federman (2-4, 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K)
Save: William Fleming (9)
(Box score posted when available)
Vs Duke Game 1
Date & Time: Thursday, May 16, 7:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Brian Van Belle (8-2, 3.20 ERA)
Duke Starter: Ben Gross (6-4, 4.08 ERA)
Radio: 790 The Ticket
Television: ACC Network Extra