With All-American Carson Palmquist on the mound, everyone expected Boston College to struggle offensively.
Boasting a 1.17 ERA, he hadn’t lost all season, shutting out No. 14 Florida in his last outing.
But the Eagles shocked Miami fans at Mark Light Field on Friday night, scoring nine earned runs off the third-year sophomore to take Game 1, 12-11, to open conference play. With the win, Boston College (6-6, 1-0 ACC) has now beaten UM (9-4, 0-1 ACC) in Coral Gables for just the third time ever.
“It’s not a recipe for success when you’re giving up 10 runs in the first four innings,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “At the end of the day, we have to get a better start from our Friday guy and we have to play better defense. You score 11 runs, you should win most of the games.”
Miami didn’t fail to make it interesting, though, as it nearly overcame a six-run deficit in the ninth, jumpstarted by freshman Edgardo Villegas’ RBI single to left field.
Kayfus and Morales’ back-to-back doubles further narrowed the gap to 12-10 with only one out. Romero recorded his third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly on the next at-bat, bringing the Canes to within one with the tying run at third.
For the first time since the beginning of the game, Miami fans took to their feet, letting out all the emotion that was bottled up in the game’s first eight innings. But Perez struck out swinging, ending the Hurricanes’ near miracle comeback.
“What we just had right there was a big moment,” junior catcher Maxwell Romero said. “We now know what our team is made of. I’m happy with the way we fought. There’s no quit. We showed that at FIU and we showed that again today.”
Defensive woes plagued UM from the start, as it accumulated three errors in the first four innings, with two leading to a pair of runs.
Boston College notched seven runs in the first two frames, behind a pair of three-run homers by second baseman Luke Gold and right fielder Cameron Leary, who both accounted for nine RBIs.
Before being pulled in the fourth inning, Palmquist more than quadrupled his ERA, letting up three home runs in the process.
Miami stayed in striking distance with the Eagles early, before going cold until the end of the game. In the first two innings, the Canes scored four runs, highlighted by Dominic Pitelli’s 384-foot shot. At the end of two, UM was down 7-4.
But then Boston College pulled away, as Leary hit his second homer of the game. The Eagles continued to score through the next few innings, amassing its largest lead of the match at 12-4, before Villegas’ home run in the bottom of the seventh put the Canes back on the scoreboard, 12-6.
Despite losing, Miami had a season-best 16 hits – four more than the Eagles.
Palmquist (3-1) took the loss while Boston College reliever John West (1-1) took the victory.
Next up, Miami looks to bounce back at Mark Light Field Saturday in Game 2 against Boston College. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.