Miami had the bases loaded with one out or less twice, and scored just one run out of the two opportunities. Those two missed chances all but doomed the Hurricanes in a season-ending loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The loss wraps up an incredible season for Miami that saw the Hurricanes finish at 41-20 on the year. Most of the lineup should return for the ‘Canes next season, and the future is bright for this team.
Miami got out to an early 1-0 lead with a home run from Ray Gil, but a three-run rally from Mississippi State gave the Bulldogs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. MSU only had one ball stuck for solid contact in that inning, but their speed allowed them to strike for three runs. For the rest of the game the Hurricanes searched for a response but couldn’t seem to get a hit when they needed it.
MSU added two crucial runs in the top of the eighth off of Daniel Federman. Federman struggled at the end of the season and he’ll hope to reset his mind over the offseason heading into the 2020 season, where he’ll still be one of Miami’s most important relievers.
Besides the three run fourth inning, Slade Cecconi pitched what was probably his best game all season. The freshman pitched beyond his years, tossing seven innings while striking out six against one of the best lineups in the nation. He made a strong case to enter the weekend rotation if one of Miami’s established starters leaves for professional baseball following the draft over the next two days.
While the end of this season is disappointing, it’s clear that Gino DiMare has put this program on the right path towards success. Next year Miami should enter the season with College World Series aspirations, and the experience of a tough defeat in Starkville could prove invaluable in 2020. This team fought tonight, but ultimately it lost to a better, more experienced team. Coach DiMare will make sure they learn from that, and he has the ‘Canes poised for big things next year.
Winning Pitcher: Peyton Plumlee (6-4, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
Losing Pitcher: Slade Cecconi (5-4, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)
Save: Cole Gordon (11)
(Box score posted when available)