If there were ever any doubts that Florida State’s 13-1 outburst against the Canes on Friday was a fluke, the Seminoles did their part to ensure that wasn’t the case in Saturday night’s 9-1 blowout. After surrendering a 10-hit barrage to their in-state rivals, the Hurricanes were handed their second straight loss and first series loss to the Seminoles since 2015.
It was a rough night all around for the Hurricanes, who have now fallen to an overall 9-6 record on the season. Of the nine runs scored by the Seminoles, only four were ruled earned, and Miami’s sloppy defense didn’t help starting pitcher Victor Mederos’s cause. Across five innings of work, Mederos allowed six runs on three hits, but only two of the runs were earned.
Between the first two games of this weekend’s series, the Hurricanes have committed a total of seven defensive errors, including four on Saturday. Factor in a Miami lineup that has been limited to two combined runs over the last two nights, and a steep come-from-behind battle was inevitable for UM.
“We played poor defensively, offensively. We were pretty anemic,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “No taxing at-bats for us, and at the end of the day, that’s why you get your rear end kicked and that’s what happened again today.”
The Seminoles busted out the bats right out of the gates against Mederos. In the top half of the first, Mederos recorded two quick outs and looked sharp until a routine ground ball was fumbled by second baseman Anthony Vilar to allow Florida State’s Robby Martin to reach base.
The Seminoles clean-up hitter then capitalized on an opportunity to do some damage, sending a no-doubter over the left-center field wall to give Florida State an early 2-0 lead.
Miami responded in the bottom half of the frame, loading the bases against Florida State starting pitcher Bryce Hubbart. Christian Del Castillo came through in a big way with an RBI single to drive home Jordan Lala and cut the Seminoles’ lead in half.
However, Hubbart was able to work out of the jam and permanently stop the bleeding throughout the rest of his start. His final line consisted of six innings of one-run ball, eight strikeouts and four hits.
“That was tough right there, but a lot of game left to play after that,” DiMare said. “ I don’t feel like we did a whole lot after that. We did bases-loaded one other time, but we didn’t hit balls hard other than the first inning. If we did, they were scattered about.”
The Seminoles padded their lead in the top half of the third with Martin coming through once again with an RBI double. On the night, Martin led Florida State with four RBI’s.
A three-error fourth inning from Miami widened the gap even further as two unearned runs scored to give the Seminoles a commanding 5-1 lead. After a clean fifth inning with a donut on the scoreboard for Florida State, Mederos’ handed the pitching duties to Alex McFarlane with a runner on in the top of the sixth.
The Seminoles welcomed McFarlane by adding three-runs of insurance aided by a two-run base knock from Logan Lacey. McFarlane hung zero’s on Florida State until the ninth inning, when Ryan Romano joined the hit parade with an RBI single to right. In his 3.1 innings of work, McFarlane allowed seven hits and three runs, two of which were earned.
With the score at 9-1 and one away in the ninth, DiMare gave the ball to Andrew Walters, who struck out two to shut the door on Florida State’s offensive onslaught.
In their final chance to narrow the deficit, the Canes were retired in one-two-three fashion to end the night and drop the series to the Seminoles.
“We’ve got to find a way to play better. We’re not going to win if we don’t play any better,” DiMare said. “We’ve got to have better at-bats as a unit, as nine guys in a lineup that have to do a much better job of giving taxing at-bats.”
UM will get another chance against Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Hurricanes turn to Daniel Federman to salvage a game in the series and avoid a three-game sweep.