The Miami Hurricanes hoped to turn around a rough start to the season this past weekend at the Kia Bash at Goodwin Field on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. However, the ‘Canes blew a lead in one game and committed mental errors in the last game en route to losing two of three games.
Miami (9-6) committed a season-high five errors in falling to Houston, 8-6, Sunday afternoon.
Along with the five errors, of Houston’s eight runs only one was earned.
UH starter Gene Flores (1-0) went 6.1 innings allowing 10 hits, six earned runs with a career-high nine strikeouts in 117 pitches. UM starter Kiki Bengochea (1-3) took the loss.
The Hurricanes jumped out quick on the Cougars and Flores, 4-0, scoring four runs on four hits with two outs showing. Matt Dryer hit his second home run in as many days, a three-run shot deep to left field.
The Cougars came back in the third, 5-4, batting around in the order and scoring five runs on Bengochea to take the lead. Bengochea walked the bases loaded, followed by a two-run error by Kevin Howard. Stuart Musslewhite then put the Cougars ahead with a three-run home run to left field.
UH added a run, 6-4, in the fifth.
Bengochea departed after 5.0 innings pitched allowing six hits, six runs (one earned), four walks, four strikeouts and one hit batter in 106 pitches.
With Dan Touchet on the mound, Houston scored two more runs to go up 8-4 in the sixth.
The Hurricanes narrowed the Houston lead, 8-6, in the seventh. With one out, Rodriguez tripled down the left field line. He scored on the next at bat when Howard hit a single to left field. Danny Matienzo followed with a double deep to right center to score Howard.
In their second game of the weekend, University of Miami closer George Huguet picked up the save for the Hurricanes as he went the final 1.1 innings in a 5-3 win over Cal State Fullerton (9-6).
Huguet entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning and forced Titan pinch hitter Chris Comfort to pop out. In the ninth, Huguet forced the first two batters out before allowing two base runners. Huguet earned his second save of the season when he forced Richie Burgos to ground out to the shortstop.
UM starter T.J. Prunty (2-0) earned the win after tying a career-high with 6.0 innings pitched, five hits, three runs (two earned), four walks and two strikeouts in 88 pitches.
Cal State Fullerton starter Darric Merrell (2-2) scored the loss after allowing seven hits, five earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.
After Cal State Fullerton took the lead 3-2 in the top of the sixth, the Hurricanes responded with three runs to take the eventual game-winning 5-3 lead. Matienzo knocked in the tying run, Javy Rodriguez, with a single to left field. Kevin Mannix then singled to left field. Dryer, who opened Miami’s scoring in the second inning with a two-run homerun, walked to load the bases. Jim Burt then drove in the go-ahead runs, Matienzo and Mannix, with a single to left field.
In the first game of the weekend, Southern California rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning to score four runs and defeat the Miami, 11-10.
Southern California rallied from a 10-7 deficit in the eighth inning to score four runs on four hits off UM closer Huguet.
Bret Butler (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Trojans.
Miami starter Troy Roberson pitched 3.2 innings with seven hits, four earned runs, three walks and one strikeout in 65 pitches.
Javy Rodriguez went 3-for-6, with two RBI’s and a solo homerun in the defeat.
Miami returns to action at 3:05 tomorrow afternoon at Mark Light Stadium against the Florida Marlins.