Walk-off hit by Hernandez secured 5-4 comeback win over St.Thomas

After sweeping the visiting Milwaukee Panthers over the course of the weekend, the Canes were able to extend their winning streak to eight on Tuesday night with a late game surge for a 5-4 victory over the visiting St. Thomas Bobcats.

Miami was trailing 4-2 when a double by designated hitter Michael Broad tied the game up at four in the bottom of the eighth inning. Earlier that inning right fielder Chantz Mack hit a line drive up the middle for a double of his own, after second baseman Alex Hernandez had taken first base on a walk. Then with two outs and the count at 0-1 Broad was able to hit a ball deep to bring Mack and Hernandez home.

After a spectacular diving catch by Miami center fielder Dale Carey preserved the tie going into the bottom of ninth, the Canes were able to load the bases with two walks and bunt. Then, with no outs and a 1-2 count, Hernandez was able to drive the ball into shallow right field for a walk-off hit to secure the come-from-behind win.

“[I was] just trying to put the ball in play,” Hernandez said. “I know the infield was in as well and I was just trying to tee something up and hit it hard, make something happen.”

The victory not only preserves Miami’s spotless 8-0 record, but it also marks junior pitcher Bryan Radziewski’s first start of the season, after the left-hander missed much of last year with a season-ending shoulder injury. Although Radziewski only saw limited action, being replaced after two innings, the junior was able to hold the Bobcats scoreless.

“I was just trying to throw strikes and work on my stuff,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen live hitters, since playing another opponent, so I was just trying to work on my stuff.”

With Barry coming to Alex Rodriguez Park tomorrow at 6 p.m. and a road trip to the University of Florida looming, the close game might have come as a timely wake-up call for the Canes.

“I think tonight, maybe gave us a little bit of a lesson,” said head coach Jim Morris. “Make sure we’re ready to play. I walked out of the locker room and I wasn’t sure that we were as excited as much as I would like to be at that particular time. We’ve been playing a lot of games and it’s tough to play every game hard […] and we need to do that every day.”