Once again, Miami’s bats went cold when it mattered most.
The Hurricanes struck out 14 times and were only able to salvaged five hits against Florida International University, leading to a 5-3 loss for UM.
“We weren’t aggressive enough with guys on second and third,” Miami coach Jim Morris said. “We left some guys on base – we have to swing the bat. We took some called third strikes. We had to do a better job on 0-2 [counts].”
Senior third baseman Eddie Silva opened the scoring for FIU (6-6) with a two-run blast off Michael Mediavilla in the first inning.
Freshman designated hitter Jose Garcia added to the Panthers’ tally with a solo shot in the following frame to make it 3-0.
After surrendering three runs in the first two innings, Mediavilla settled down. The senior southpaw pitched 4 1/3 innings and recorded a season-high eight strikeouts. He surrendered three runs on four hits and walked two Panthers.
Freshman Isaac Quiñones got the Hurricanes on the board with an RBI-double in the fifth inning. The next batter, fellow freshman Willy Escala, would trade places with Quiñones with an RBI-double to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Miami (5-7) would tie the game on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, plating Michael Perez, but that would be it for the Canes’ offense.
As a team, Miami went 1-for-8 on the night with runners in scoring position. UM’s first four batters in the lineup combined to go 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts.
The Hurricanes have dropped four of their last five games against FIU despite holding a commanding 93-28 all-time series lead.
Regardless of the offensive struggles, some of the Canes freshmen continue to grow.
Freddy Zamora went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to seven games, which includes multi-hit performances in the last four games. Quiñones has recorded a hit in the past three games after stepping in for the injured Michael Amditis.
“They’ve developed a lot offensively, no question,” Morris said. “Isaac has done a great job as a player … But all of our young guys have made some mistakes that you don’t see on paper or don’t see watching the game exactly. Bottom line is they’re battling, and they’re getting better.”
Miami will look to get back on track when it opens up ACC play against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 7 p.m. March 9 at Mark Light Field.