Hurricanes struggle with errors, fall to Missouri Tigers

Michael Mediavilla
Senior pitcher Michael Mediavilla slings the ball during a midweek matchup against Missouri Feb. 21 at Mark Light Field. Mediavilla allowed five runs in five innings pitched. Miami lost 9-0. Photo credit: Josh White

Senior pitcher Michael Mediavilla looked like his old self for three innings, holding Missouri to one hit while recording three strikeouts.

Then Mediavilla and the No. 24 Hurricanes crumbled.

Despite registering only three hits in the fourth inning, the Tigers capitalized on multiple Miami miscues to score five runs, leading to a 9-0 Missouri rout.

“I felt like I was attacking hitters and getting ahead of them and did a good job mixing my location and mixing my pitches [early],” Mediavilla said. “In the fourth inning, one error kind of created the momentum for them … They had a big inning.”

The southpaw sandwiched two walks around an infield hit to open the fourth, which loaded the bases.

After striking out designated-hitter Isaiah Cullum, Mizzou’s Mark Vierling scorched a comebacker off Mediavilla’s foot that he couldn’t handle.

“It just hit my heel, and then I couldn’t plant and then just started stumbling over,” Mediavilla said. “I guess I should have flipped it. In that moment, I just thought I couldn’t throw it. I thought it was a little far. It costed us two runs.”

The Tigers (3-1) would tack on three more in the inning. Brett Bond and Chris Cornelius delivered RBI base-hits, while Alex Samples pushed across a run with a suicide squeeze.

Mediavilla (0-1) pitched five innings and allowed five runs on four hits. Only two of the runs were earned.

Missouri’s Brian Sharp (1-0) threw five scoreless frames and capped of his first career start with eight strikeouts and no walks.

“We knew coming in he was going to throw a lot of breaking balls, a lot of sliders, and he did,” redshirt senior outfielder Michael Burns said. “We really needed to hit that ball the other way … And then we started chasing a little bit and trying to force things. You can’t hit like that. We had an approach, and we didn’t execute.”

The Hurricanes (2-2) struck out 15 times and struggled to get anything going offensively.

“We didn’t do a good job of adjusting,” Miami coach Jim Morris said. “We struck out too many times, hit too many fly balls and didn’t put any pressure on them.”

Danny Reyes, who is the reigning ACC Co-Player of the Week, struck out three times. Romy Gonzalez went 2-for-4, and redshirt senior Michael Perez went 1-for-2 with a triple in his first start of the season.

Miami’s bullpen struggled in the ninth inning and allowed Missouri to add four more runs.

To make matters worse for UM, junior reliever Frankie Bartow was injured while warming up to pitch the final inning. Morris said the right-hander was lifted because of a lower back injury and is expected to be out “for a little while.”

The Hurricanes will look to end their two-game slide when they host the No. 1 Florida Gators at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at Mark Light Field.