Losing grasp of a potential series win, the ‘Canes suffered two straight losses to split their tilt with Oral Roberts.
Although much effort was made in the last few innings of Sunday’s series finale by standouts Paco Figueroa and Eddy Rodriguez, nothing was enough to beat the Golden Eagles.
Unlike game one of the series, which was marked by unprecedented feats by junior Cesar Carrillo, who became the first pitcher to strike out the side more than once in a game this season. Carrillo pushed his record to 7-0 and ERA to 0.95 this season and has a 19-0 career record. Carrillo, who struck out nine and had no walks on Thursday, held Oral Roberts to just five hits in a 1-0 complete game shutout, the first since a Regional game in 2003.
Game two was highlighted by stellar offensive play, especially by seniors Brendan Katin and Figueroa, who both homered and scored three runs in the first inning. Katin, along with Rodriguez, both had three RBIs in the ‘Canes’ third highest offensive output this season.
Katin followed his first-inning blast with a two-run bases loaded single giving UM a 6-1 lead in the third. Rodriguez sealed the deal with a two-run double that pushed the Hurricanes to an 8-1 lead, which by the end of the ninth turned into a 17-6 victory.
“I think we played well our first two games, but we just have to put the win behind us and focus on the next two games,” Figueroa said.
Game three was fierce as the Hurricanes dropped a heartbreaker 4-3. The ‘Canes led 2-0 after freshman Alex Garabedian drove in Jon Jay with a double off the wall in right-center in the fourth. Jay padded the Miami lead in the fifth with a double to left field that scored Danny Robitaille from second base. But just as quickly, Oral Roberts changed the course of the game as Rene Recio’s infield single plated Tim Torres to give the Golden Eagles the victory.
The final game was marred by controversy. A few lights of hope flickered in the last few innings of the game, thanks to Figueroa, who made a base hit in the eighth, followed by another hit by Walter Diaz, which advanced Figueroa to third although he was called out by the umpire. The controversial call led to roars of boos across the Mark Light Field.
“I [protested ] but the call just didn’t go our way, but I don’t think it was a deciding factor in the game. We made a lot of mistakes,” Head Coach Jim Morris said.
Though some momentum came in the ninth when Miami scored three runs closing the gap to four runs, a final pop fly sealed its fate in a 12-8 loss.
The ‘Canes will now go on to face ACC rival Virginia Tech in a three-game series that begins in Blacksburg this Friday at 7 p.m.
“As we now come up on an ACC game, we got to play better defense and make minimal mistakes, we just got to play better as a team,” Morris said. “I ran out of space on my card just to note all the mistakes we made. This has got to stop.”
Antoinette Cordova can be contacted at email@example.com.