For just the second time in eight weekend matchups this year, the Canes lost a series. The University of Miami dropped the final two games of a three-game set against the Clemson Tigers at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in South Carolina.
The Hurricanes (25-10, 11-7) lost for the first time in 11 day games this season on Sunday afternoon, while Clemson (23-12, 11-7) pounded out 38 hits over the weekend.
The Canes played a doubleheader Saturday because rain postponed Friday night’s action.
In game one, sophomore starter Chris Hernandez picked up his second win in as many outings, hurling seven innings while allowing five runs, striking out four and walking none. He scattered 12 hits but only two of them went for extra bases.
Sophomore catcher Yasmani Grandal and junior first baseman Jason Hagerty each hit solo home runs, but the big blast came off the bat of senior right fielder Dave DiNatale, as he slugged a three-run shot that put the Canes up for good and secured a 12-8 victory. It was the Canes 18th come-from-behind victory of the season.
In the game on Saturday night, junior starter David Gutierrez struggled right from the beginning. For the second consecutive start, he gave up four runs in the first inning. Gutierrez gave up a career-high six earned runs. That would be more than enough for the Tigers as they won game two by a score of 9-1.
Clemson starter and freshman left hander Chris Dwyer was phenomenal. He pitched a complete game two-hitter while striking out a career-high 10. He tossed 129 pitches in the effort and only allowed two Hurricane batters to advance past second base.
The Canes lost the rubber game Sunday afternoon, 9-6. Sophomore starter Iden Nazario suffered the first loss of his Hurricane career, as he lasted only 2.2 innings, serving up six runs on six hits.
Miami trailed by three with two outs in the ninth inning. Facing the vulnerable Clemson bullpen, they put together a rally but ultimately came up short. With two outs and no men on base, junior left fielder Chris Herrmann legged out an infield single. Grandal followed by reaching base on a four pitch walk, before freshman third baseman Harold Martinez hit a single through the right side to load the bases for designated hitter Ted Blackman. The freshman, representing the go-ahead run, popped up to the shortstop on the first pitch he saw, ending the game.
During the series, Hagerty extended his hitting streak to 12 games. This ties the longest hitting streak by a UM player this year. Center fielder Nathan Melendres had a 12 game hit streak to start the season.
Miami’s next game is on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against FAU. UM has already beaten FAU twice this year. That game can be heard on 90.5 FM WVUM.