McKendry stumbles, Miami drops series to North Carolina

After suffering a 12-inning defeat to North Carolina Friday, April 6, the Miami Hurricanes looked to avenge the loss in game two of the weekend series.

But for the second consecutive night, the Canes struggled in the final innings to fall 9-6 to the Tar Heels Saturday, April 7, night at Mark Light Field.

Canes sophomore pitcher Evan McKendry (4-4, 4.94 ERA), who has earned three ACC Pitcher of the Week honors so far this season, had his second consecutive rough outing. The Pembroke Pines native gave up seven runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven batters but totaled four wild pitches in the loss.

Miami (12-18, 6-8 ACC) got off to a quick start in the first inning with a three-run home run from freshman Gabe Rivera to go up 3-1. But North Carolina (21-10, 10-4 ACC) took advantage of a struggling McKendry to score five combined runs in the third and fourth innings to take the lead right back.

The Tar Heels would stay in front the rest of the way.

Freshman Freddy Zamora continues to be a bright spot to the Hurricanes’ otherwise disappointing season thus far. He recorded a hit in all four of his trips to the plate, including the first home run of his college career, to bring his average to an impressive .330.

Freshman first baseman Michael Busch led the way for UNC with three hits, including a 3-RBI double in the fourth inning to give the Tar Heels a commanding 6-3 advantage.

UM has now lost seven-straight games – the longest losing streak for the team since 1966. The Hurricanes will look to avoid being swept for the second consecutive series when they play the Tar Heels again at noon Sunday, April 8. Junior pitcher Andrew Cabezas will take the mound.