The No. 6 Hurricanes’ bats went quiet as they tried to sweep ACC-foe Louisville at Mark Light Field on Sunday afternoon. Miami had only two hits through seven innings and four in the game as the No. 4 Cardinals won 4-3 to snap the Canes’ five-game winning streak.
“We faced a great arm today,” said junior catcher Zack Collins, who had Miami’s two hits in the first seven innings. “The guy who threw for them today, Drew Harrington, he’s probably one of the better arms we’re going to face all year. He had his stuff today.”
Harrington (4-1), a left-handed junior, gave up two earned runs and three walks while striking out six batters in 5.2 innings for the win. Louisville’s pitching staff combined for 11 strikeouts. The Canes went 0-for-9 from the plate with runners in scoring position.
Louisville opened the game with a run in the first inning on a two-out rally. After back-to-back two-out walks, Danny Rosenbaum singled to right to bring in Nick Solak.
Miami (16-4, 4-2) answered right back in the bottom of the inning with two runs. Collins doubled to left-center field to move junior first baseman Chris Barr over to third following his one-out walk. Barr scored on a groundout by junior left fielder Jacob Heyward and Collins crossed the plate on an error by Solak at second base.
The Cardinals (15-4, 3-2) tied it up in the top of the fourth on a line-drive home run that just barely went over the right field fence by Blake Tiberi. Louisville took the lead in the fifth on a sloppy inning by the Canes, who had two errors in the fifth and three for the game. With runners on the corners, Solak hit a sacrifice fly to left that plated Corey Ray.
Louisville tacked on an insurance run in the sixth as the Cardinals knocked junior lefty Danny Garcia out of the game. Right-handed freshman Andrew Cabezas came in for Garcia (3-2) after the starter gave up two walks and a single to start the inning. Cabezas limited the damage to just one run on a sacrifice fly followed by a double play.
Garcia only allowed three earned runs and six walks on the season coming into the matchup, but the veteran lefty was charged with three earned runs and walked four batters in 5.0 innings.
“I didn’t come out strong. I was ill these past couple days, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I should be coming out 100 percent all the time, even if I’m ill,” Garcia said. “The later innings, I felt, during [those] I was getting tired, obviously because of the illness.”
Cabezas pitched three frames without giving up an earned run, upping his streak to 10.1 consecutive innings. Fellow right-handed freshman reliever Frankie Bartow pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.
Collins cut Louisville’s lead to 4-3 with a solo shot to right field in the sixth for his sixth home run of the year. The star slugger has reached base the last 15 games and is now hitting .421 on the season to go with an ACC-leading 24 walks.
Miami finally received some offense from a player other than Collins in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of two-out singles by infielders Johnny Ruiz and Brandon Lopez. Next up was junior right fielder Willie Abreu, who won Friday’s game with a walk-off grand slam, but the team captain struck out looking to end the inning.
“I thought we had a chance. Then you’ve got Willie up. The guy hit two home runs [Friday],” Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said of Abreu’s at-bat. “You’re hoping. The wind is blowing out. You can’t say, ‘Go up there and hit a home run.’ But I’m thinking, ‘Go up there and hit a home run, because the wind is blowing out.’”
Miami had won its last eight games at home going into the matchup, including the first two meetings of the series against Louisville on Friday and Saturday. The Canes next play Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Mark Light Field.