With a one-run game in the fifth Miami produced six runs following a second delay to beat Texas A&M 10-3 Tuesday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
When play resumed in the bottom of the second on Tuesday, starter Eric Whaley stayed on the mound and gave up consecutive singles to the second-seeded Aggies.
But Caleb Shofner was thrown out at the plate when Chris Pelaez’s throw from right was cut off by Scott Lawson and thrown to Yasmani Grandal for the tag at home.
“I think it was huge coming out of last night,” Texas A&M shortstop Brodie Greene said. “We had two runs scored and all the momentum and right out of the box today. That play kind of set us back and evened out the momentum threat in the game.”
After that play the Hurricanes (43-18) outscored the Aggies (43-21-1) 7-1.
Chris Hernandez (10-3), who was taken in the seventh round of the MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox and started on Saturday, earned the victory with two scoreless innings of relief.
“I felt great. I was out there and was able to get the job done for as long as I could for my team,” Hernandez said. “I just wanted to help us out somehow and I was able to do it.”
Miami head coach Jim Morris, however, said that Sam Robinson was the team’s MVP of the game for his 4.1 innings of relief.
He allowed just one run, in the ninth, and struck out four.
“I was excited to go in because I hadn’t pitched all weekend, so getting this opportunity to go out there and pitch, I was really excited for it,” Robinson said. “Having the opportunity to go 4-plus innings, I’ve never done that before.”
The Hurricanes picked up their first three runs with the benefit of just two hit thanks to a total of eight walks issued by Texas A&M pitching.
Play was halted yet again after Frankie Ratcliff reached first on a strikeout on a pitch that got away and Lawson and Grandal each walked with no outs in the fifth.
When play resumed Harold Martinez picked up an RBI on a groundout to make it 4-2.
Barrett Loux, who was drafted sixth overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks, gave up three runs in the sixth on three hits, including a two-run double by Grandal and RBI double by Martinez.
“I didn’t see it as a battle. I’ve faced good pitching all year, so the better you throw them out there the better I hit, the better I get,” Grandal said. “He’s a great pitcher. He has great stuff. I guess I was the lucky one who came out on top today. I’m sure I’ll see him down the road either in the minor leagues or the major leagues.”
Grandal, who was drafted 12th overall by the Cincinnati Reds, came into the game with just three hits and no RBI.
He finished the game 1 for 3 with a double, two walks and two RBI.
“We just didn’t play well enough to win. I wish we had pitched better,” Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. “When you’re playing catch-up like we did after we fell apart, it made it tough on us because Robinson did a nice job of changing speeds.”
The Canes produced their second consecutive three-run inning in the seventh on an RBI single by Stephen Perez, a two-base error by the pitcher and a wild pitch to make the score 10-2.
Before play was called on Monday Miami got on the board without the benefit of a hit in the first to take a 1-0 lead when Ross Stripling encountered control issues as he walked the first two batters.
Ten of his first pitches were for balls.
Martinez, who drove in a game-high three runs, grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Ratcliff.
Michael Broad picked up the Hurricanes’ first hit with a single to left in the second, stole a base and moved over to third on a wild pitch.
After a two-out walk to Zeke DeVoss, Ratcliff, plugged into the leadoff spot and up for the second consecutive inning, produced a two-run single to center to give Miami a 3-0 lead.
The Aggies came back with two unearned runs of their own when Matt Juengel surprised the Hurricane defense with a bunt and Martinez threw the ball out of play for a two-base error, his first of two in the game.
Following a wild pitch Kevin Gonzalez doubled to right to score Juengel, and Shofner, the eighth batter, blooped a single that stayed fair down the right-field line to make it 3-2.
Miami advances to the Gainesville Super Regional to play he third overall seed Florida Gators.
“Florida came in and beat us two out of three. They’ve got an outstanding club so we have something to prove. We’ll be a challenge for those guys,” Morris said. “They’ve got good power arms. I think we’re a better club now than when we faced them early in the season. It seems like last year it’s been so long.”
P- Chris Hernandez UM)
P- John Stilson (Texas A&M)
1B- Scott Lawson (UM)
2B- Frankie Ratcliff (UM)
3B- Harold Martinez (UM)
SS- Brodie Greene (Texas A&M)
OF- Chris Pelaez (UM)
OF-Nathan Melendres (UM)
OF- Sam Bean (Dartmouth)
DH- Michael Broad (UM)
MVP- Scott Lawson (UM)