Canes fall behind early, struggle versus Pittsburgh in series finale

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Alejandro Rosario pitches at the top of the second inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Alejandro Rosario pitches at the top of the second inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

With a sixth conference series win, the crowd at Mark Light Field jumped around for its team early on a sunny afternoon in Coral Gables.

But the baseball did not jump the same for the Hurricanes.

Miami (31-9, 16-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) struggled against its Pittsburgh (22-16, 10-10 ACC) opponent, losing 9-4 in the series finale Sunday.

“Just disappointing. We really didn’t do much today, was kind of a flat game,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said.

Pittsburgh got off to the early lead with a solo shot, just as it did on Saturday. This time, however, it was catcher Tatem Levins who hit it over the left field wall off sophomore starter Alejandro Rosario to make it 1-0.

In the top of the second, Pittsburgh put runners on base and outfielder Jordan Anderson’s single back up the middle gave the Panthers a 2-0 advantage. Then, outfielder Dom Popa, who had three hits in three at bats Friday, hit an RBI single to expand the lead.

Things got worse for Rosario before they got better for Miami pitching. Catcher Tatem Levins notched his second homer of the game in as many innings, moving the Pittsburgh advantage to 6-0.

“The name of the game is getting guys out. You have to get ahead of guys,” DiMare said of Rosario. “He’s a sinker, ground ball guy. We just didn’t get enough of that today.”

While Rosario started the third inning, he would exit shortly after giving up a walk to first baseman Bryce Hulett. Rosario ended his day with a couple of innings pitched, allowing five hits, six earned runs, two walks, and four strikeouts.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ronaldo Gallo pitches during Miami's Sunday loss to the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ronaldo Gallo pitches during Miami's Sunday loss to the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

In his place, right-handed sophomore Ronaldo Gallo took the mound and settled down the Panthers lineup, going three innings without allowing a hit.

“Gallo came in and did a good job. Unfortunately, we gave up a couple of more runs there in the sixth,” DiMare said.

Gallo, despite a solid shutout outing of three innings, is focused ahead.

“This game’s already over, you got to throw it away and focus on Tuesday for Stetson,” Gallo said.

The Hurricanes finally scored in the fourth inning as sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales’ fly ball became a home run, cutting the deficit to 6-1 in favor of Pittsburgh.

Sophomore infielder Yohandy Morales heads home after hitting a home run in the bottom of the 4th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022.
Sophomore infielder Yohandy Morales heads home after hitting a home run in the bottom of the 4th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Pittsburgh gained two more runs off an RBI single from Anderson in the sixth inning, making it 8-1. Freshman Zach Levenson couldn’t field the ball in right field, allowing the runner from first to score unearned.

The Hurricanes never got much going against Pitt starter and former Texas Rangers draft pick Billy Corcoran, who finished his outing with seven innings, three hits allowed, one run, a walk allowed and eight strikeouts after 104 pitches.

In the top of the ninth, Pitt’s Josh Overbeek got his second hit on an infield single, allowing Hulett to score from third.

Miami did not go out without an answer as Levenson went deep for a three-run shot, making it 9-4.

Freshman outfielder Zach Levenson hits a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022.
Freshman outfielder Zach Levenson hits a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Pittsburgh at Mark Light Field on April 24, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

“He’s one of those guys that’s been platooning. He’s swung the bat better as of late. He’s a power guy,” DiMare said.

Ultimately, the five-run score would hold as the Panthers downed the Hurricanes at Mark Light Field.

By the end of the game, Miami utilized seven relievers while Pittsburgh only had to call on the help of Florida native Baron Stuart to beat Miami. Stuart went two innings, allowing three hits and three runs, striking out as many.

Corcoran (6-2) collected the win, while Rosario (1-2) was hit with the loss.

Miami will hit the road after a Tuesday night home matchup with Stetson, headed north towards Atlanta for a series with Georgia Tech. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 6 p.m.