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Miami swept at Pittsburgh after blowing 4-0 lead

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The Hurricanes were avalanched in the fourth and sixth innings against a Pittsburgh team that stood behind them in the ACC standings prior to the three-game series.

The Miami Hurricanes huddle in the outfield at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh on April 10, 2021 (Pittsburgh).
Credit: Miami Athletics

Miami redshirt sophomore pitcher Jordan Dubberly started in Pittsburgh on Sunday looking for a win to leave Pittsburgh with any sort of momentum, but the St. John’s River State transfer was unable to contain the Panthers’ lineup and No. 17 Pittsburgh swept No. 20 Miami in a 12-5 victory at Charles L. Cost Field.

Dubberly was replaced after three-and-two-thirds innings, having relinquished four earned runs and seven hits, as Miami (17-11, 10-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) saw its early 4-0 lead quickly evaporate in the fourth inning.

Pittsburgh (17-10, 12-19 ACC) continued to charge offensively in the sixth as UM shuffled through its bullpen. Pittsburgh right fielder Nico Popa, having launched a two-run home run in the fourth and totaled a game-high four RBI, singled through the left side to score center fielder Jordan Anderson and pinch runner Dom Popa. First baseman Bryce Hulett capped off the inning with a four-run blast to right field, as the lead increased to seven, 11-4.

Freshman Alejandro Rosario (3-2), who had missed a start in the series opener on Friday after having suffered a right oblique strain, allowed all seven of the Panthers’ runs — three of them earned. The right-hander threw 36 pitches in one-and-one-thirds innings of relief work.

Offensively, the Hurricanes once again grappled to not strand multiple runners in scoring position. The bases were loaded with freshman shortstop Dominic Pitelli, who hit a three-run home run in the top of the second to push UM ahead 4-0, as well as right fielder Jared Thomas and first baseman CJ Kayfus, yet sophomore second baseman Anthony Vilar grounded out.

An exclamation-mark solo home run came from Pittsburgh left fielder Ron Washington in the bottom of the eighth for the Panthers’ 12th run of the afternoon. Washington finished 2-for-5 from the plate.

Freshman closer Carson Palmquist, the ACC’s leader in saves with nine, tossed the final two innings, allowing the home run to Washington for just his third earned run in 2021.

The Hurricanes, similar to Saturday’s loss, left nine base runners aboard while going only 3-for-19 with runners on base.

The Panthers, however, logged eight two-out RBI for their fourth-straight win and first-ever sweep over Miami.

Closing the weekend having only received nine-and-one-thirds innings pitched from its starting rotation, Miami head coach Gino DiMare will turn back to the drawing board prior to the team’s midweek matchup versus Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday at home.

UM and FGCU will take the diamond at Mark Light Field on Wednesday at 6 p.m.