Miami lost 2-1 to Ole Miss in the 1-0 game of the Coral Gables Regional on Sunday and now are one loss away from an early exit from the NCAA Tournament. Despite Carson Palmquist’s fantastic start, the Hurricanes could not move to 2-0, stranding seven runners on base in the game.
The Hurricanes first missed opportunity came in the top of the first inning. Miami loaded the bases with one out but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning. Neither team was able to find much offense after the first, with Ole Miss starter Hunter Elliott cruising through the next four innings.
Elliott worked with a fantastic changeup that caused problems for Miami all afternoon but finally ran into trouble in the sixth inning. A walk and a single put runners on the corners for Miami, and Jacob Burke hit a sac fly after Elliott exited the game to give the Hurricanes the lead.
Ole Miss nearly put together a response in the bottom of the inning. A single and a walk put the first two batters of the inning on base, and a wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position. Palmquist’s final out of the afternoon was a strikeout for the first out of the inning before he was replaced by Alex McFarlane. McFarlane escaped the jam, striking out the first batter he faced out of the bullpen before getting a groundout to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The luck ran out for Miami in the seventh inning. Three straight two-out hits, including a two-run double from Tim Elko, gave Ole Miss the lead. Miami had pitched around Elko in every other at-bat the rest of the game, but the decision to pitch to the Ole Miss captain, who has been one of the best postseason players in program history, with runners on base ultimately cost the Hurricanes the game.
Miami went down in order in the eighth inning, and despite a one-out double from Zach Levenson, were unable to tie the game in the ninth. The loss put Miami in an elimination game against Arizona Sunday night. The Hurricanes now face the second leg of a doubleheader an hour after the first game, with the potential of another doubleheader tomorrow which the Hurricanes would have to sweep to advance.
The seven runners Miami stranded may have cost the Hurricanes their chance to advance to a Super Regional. Miami’s second game on Sunday is scheduled to begin at around 7:50 p.m., no starting pitcher is announced.
Winning Pitcher: Mason Nichols (1-0, 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
Losing Pitcher: Alex McFarlane (3-2, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
Save: Brandon Johnson (11)