Arizona eliminates Miami from NCAA tournament after ninth inning rally

Starting pitcher Alejandro Rosario seconds away from releasing a pitch during Miami's 4-3 loss to Arizona in the NCAA regionals on June 5.
Starting pitcher Alejandro Rosario seconds away from releasing a pitch during Miami's 4-3 loss to Arizona in the NCAA regionals on June 5. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

Heartbreak was the only way to describe Sunday night as the Hurricanes fell to Arizona at Mark Light Field in the NCAA regional to end their magical season.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, no one on base and 2022 All-American reliever Andrew Walters on the mound, it seemed that the game was all but over. However, a single, a player hit by a pitch and a double by Arizona outfielder Tanner O’Tremba gave Arizona the 4-3 lead that would decide the game.

“We couldn’t finish them off,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “Obviously, here at our ballpark we played pretty well all year long, but at the end of the day we didn’t score runs and we didn’t swing the bat. It’s very tough to swallow right now.

Ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation this season, the Hurricanes aspired to make a deep run in the NCAA College World Series but didn’t make it out of the region.

With a 1-1 score in the bottom of the sixth, third baseman Yohandy Morales smashed a two-run homer into left field to give Miami a 3-1 lead.

However, this was not long lived, as Arizona third baseman Tony Bullard hit a solo home run in the eighth, which narrowed Miami’s lead to 3-2. In the ninth, the Wildcats went up 4-3.

Both teams stranded many runners on base, with Arizona leaving nine and Miami 10. In the bottom of the ninth, Renzo Gonzalez came in as a pinch hitter for Miami to try to bring in runners on second and third. He grounded out to shortstop.

“We just couldn’t get the big hits when we needed to,” Morales said.

Starting pitcher Alejandro Rosario pitched a strong outing for the Canes. In one of his best performances all season, Rosario pitched 5.1 innings and allowed only one run, a solo homer in the third, while striking out six batters.

Though the loss prematurely ended the Hurricanes’ season, Miami’s 2022 campaign was mostly successful, as the team hosted a regional for the first time since 2016. Now, the Canes look to next year in the hopes of improving even more.