After six scoreless innings for the University of Miami, Hurricanes right-fielder Michael Burns stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the tenth at Mark Light Field.
With two outs and a man on second, Burns hit a hot grounder straight to Florida State shortstop Taylor Walls. Walls attempted to make the difficult throw to first base, but the ball short-hopped and bounced out of play. The error allowed UM’s Brandon Gali to score the winning run off the walk-off error, and the Canes would defeat the Seminoles 5-4 to even the series at 1-1 as of April 22.
“Off the bat I was just trying to beat the tag to third, but coach told me to round third and I saw the throw go over and the dugout just went crazy,” Gali said.
Miami’s (19-20, 10-10 ACC) pitching was solid, as it often is in its victories. Starter Michael Mediavilla put in a solid 6.2 innings of work, striking out 10 and allowing just three hits. Reliever Andrew Cabezas gave up the game-tying home run to Florida State (25-16, 10-10 ACC) in the top of the eighth but kept the Seminoles offense under control from that point on to give the Hurricanes a chance.
FSU struck first with a Quincy Nieporte solo homer to lead off the second inning. Nieporte followed that up with a single to center that drove in two runs in the third to put the Seminoles up 3-0.
But Mediavilla fought through the rough start and put on a pitching exhibition the rest of the way.
“In the beginning, it was hard just to find a groove,” Mediavilla said. “It obviously took me awhile, but my team was able to give me a lead and I knew I was just going to have to gut it out and battle the whole way, which I did.”
UM’s offense got its first spark in the bottom of the third inning when FSU starting pitcher Tyler Holton left the door open for Burns by walking two batters straight to load the bases. Burns took full advantage and blasted his second grand slam of the season well over the left-field wall to put the Canes up 4-3.
“The scouting report is [Holton] throws a good changeup, and I swung at it low my first time up, but then I just focused in and got a good piece of the barrel on it my second time up,” Burns said.
Miami hosted Florida State in front of a sold-out home crowd for the second game of a three-game series. The Canes were able to bounce back after a 6-3 defeat April 21.
The deciding game of the series April 23 was canceled due to inclement weather conditions at Mark Light Field. The Hurricanes were trailing the Seminoles 2-0 in the third inning when the contest was delayed and then eventually called off nearly two hours later.
Miami is set to play FIU 7 p.m. April 25.