The 29th ranked University of Miami baseball team (14-11, 6-3 ACC) fell for the third straight time to the No. 12 Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech (21-4, 9-0 ACC) 3-1 Sunday afternoon in front of 2,713 fans at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
It’s the first time the Canes have suffered a sweep to Georgia Tech since 1967 and the first time it has ever happened in Coral Gables. The last time the Canes were swept at home by any opponent was in 2006 against the Clemson Tigers.
The series finale was decided in the ninth inning, when Tech scored the two go-ahead runs. The rally was started by shortstop Jacob Esch’s leadoff double down the leftfield line off Miami reliever Adam Sargent. After a pitching change that brought Miami’s lefty reliever with a spotless ERA, Sam Robinson, into the game, Matt Skole then doubled to left-center, plating Esch. Georgia Tech’s four and five hitters, Jake Davies and Daniel Evans, then dropped down back-to-back sacrifice bunts to drive in Skole.
The final out was recorded when Georgia Tech closer Luke Bard induced a harmless Michael Broad grounder to third with one out in the ninth that started a 5-4-3 double play.
“The difference is Georgia Tech got a big hit late when we didn’t get a big hit all game,” said head coach Jim Morris after the game, “It’s kind of what happened all weekend to us.”
The Sunday afternoon matinee was marked by the pitcher’s duel between two sophomores, Miami’s Eric Whaley and Georgia Tech’s Buck Farmer.
Both players established new career highs in strikeouts in the contest. Whaley had ten in his seven innings of work giving up one earned run off two hits against an offense that features four batters hitting over .400.
“I just went out there and tried to do my job, tried to get in the head of hitters,” Whaley said after the game, “I know they have a good offense so I didn’t want to get behind any of the hitters.”
Farmer outlasted Whaley by one inning, going eight, allowing just one unearned run with nine strikeouts and earning the win.
The two starters left the game in the hands of their bullpen at 1-1.
The bullpen, which has been reliable for most of the season, began to hurt the Canes in this series.
On Saturday, Miami and Georgia Tech needed more than nine innings to decide the 3-3 game, but the Rambling Wreck made it pretty decisive in extras with a nine-run tenth inning to win 12-3, all nine runs coming with two outs.
It took three Miami pitchers, junior closer Daniel Miranda, Sam Abrams, and Zach Robinson, to finally get out of the tenth Saturday.
The Hurricanes were dismantled in a different manner on Friday night committing six errors en route to an 8-3 defeat.
The Canes looked promising heading into the series, with a nine-game winning streak and winning their first six ACC contests with series sweeps against Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Harold Martinez was playing shortstop this weekend in place of Stephen Perez, who was out for the series and the next one to three weeks due to a knee injury.
Up next for the Canes is a Tuesday night matchup against Florida Gulf Coast before they hit the road to Chestnut Hill for a weekend series against Boston College.
David Furones may be contacted at email@example.com