Hurricanes drop series finale to Tigers

Photo credit: Josh White

The Hurricanes have struggled this season, but against one of the best teams in the country, they held their own. Miami beat No. 8 Clemson in back-to-back contests to clinch a series victory.

But on Saturday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, the Tigers’ offense roared their way to an 8-3 win on their home turf.

Clemson (26-10, 11-7 ACC) scored seven runs in the fifth inning, capped off by a grand slam by senior slugger Chris Williams that proved to be the difference. It was Williams’ second grand slam of the weekend.

The Hurricanes (15-20, 9-9 ACC) didn’t record a hit off of Tigers’ starter Jake Higginbotham (5-1) after the second inning. The southpaw gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings pitched and totaled eight strikeouts to go along with five walks.

Miami opened up the scoring with two runs in the second, but it wasn’t enough.

Outfielder Michael Burns doubled down the right-field line, plating Isaac Quiñones. After Burns stole third, fellow veteran Hunter Tackett brought him home with an RBI groundout to shortstop.

The Hurricanes pushed across a run off the Tigers’ bullpen in the ninth inning to cut the deficit thanks to a Freddy Zamora RBI single.

Junior right-hander Andrew Cabezas (3-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings and surrendered a career-high eight runs, seven of which were earned, on six hits. He struck out nine Tigers in the defeat.

Catchers from both sides made offensive impacts. Quiñones finished 2-for-4, his ninth multi-hit performance of the season, and scored once, while Clemson catcher Kyle Wilkie went 2-for-3 and came across to score three times.

The loss snapped UM’s regular-season winning streak over Clemson at 10 games.

Miami will look to pick up a non-conference victory against Florida Gulf Coast University at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at Mark Light Field.

The Tigers will visit the Georgia Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at Foley Field.