Miami blown out in match to FIU, tournament chances look dim

Photo credit: Josh White

Midweek games have been a struggle for the Miami Hurricanes all season, and Wednesday, April 25, night was no different.

The Canes came up short in all three phases on the diamond, falling to Florida International University 14-6 in a late-scoring contest at Mark Light Field. This marks Miami’s second loss to FIU on the season.

After tossing eight strong innings in his last start against Florida Gulf Coast University, freshman right-hander Chris McMahon guided UM (17-23) through the first four innings of Wednesday night’s game unscathed. But the Panthers (19-21) found a chink in his armor in the top of the fifth inning.

“The first few innings we got into a groove, but then in the fifth and sixth [innings], I didn’t have any of my breaking stuff,” McMahon said.

FIU recorded nine unanswered runs between those two innings.

Panthers outfielder Juan Teixeira got it started with a double to the left-field gap. After two quick singles, infielder Eddie Silva tripled off McMahon to put Miami in a 3-0 hole, and the Canes could never recover from that point on.

Florida International continued its scoring in the sixth inning, as Miami experienced fielding woes that resulted in a whopping three errors for the game.

Senior Michael Mediavilla entered the game in relief for McMahon, who allowed seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

Mediavilla found himself in a bind with runners on first and second base because of errors, and FIU made sure to capitalize on the mistakes. Silva once again put his stamp on the game with a three-run homer to put the Panthers up 9-0, sealing the defeat.

Miami showed signs of life in the sixth inning when catcher Michael Amditis doubled with the bases loaded to score all three runners. And then in the seventh, Romy Gonzalez and Danny Reyes hit back-to-back solo homers.

But it was too late, and the Hurricanes could never mount a serious threat to the Panthers’ insurmountable lead.

After losing three of its last four games, including two to Pittsburgh, Miami’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament look slim to none. The team’s only hope at a bid would be to win the conference tournament in May. In order to do that, coach Jim Morris and the Canes desperately need to turn the tide and string together a winning streak as postseason play approaches.

“It was definitely a tough one tonight, so we just need to turn the page and get ready for this weekend,” Gonzalez said.

Miami will look to gain some momentum as it kicks off a weekend series at Florida State Friday, April 27.