Undefeated no more.
The Miami Hurricanes opened ACC play with a bang on Friday night at Mark Light Field, handing No. 19 NC State its first loss of the season in a 9-8 victory.
But it wasn’t without drama.
Miami’s offense went quiet after exploding for eight runs in the second inning, allowing the Wolfpack (13-1, 0-1 ACC) to rattle off eight unanswered runs of its own to tie the game in the seventh.
Florida Gulf Coast University transfer Ian Farrow was the hero on Friday with three hits and two homers, including the game-winning solo shot in the seventh, to break the Hurricanes’ two-game losing streak. He finished 3-for-4 on the day with a team-high four RBIs.
“His at-bats were really good,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “He had been struggling, chasing pitches out of the zone. He seemed to get it right with his at-bats tonight. He took counts deep, he laid off pitches and his body looked under control. When he swung the bat, he made good swings.”
Miami (9-5, 1-0 ACC) drilled 10 hits after only recording four in a 6-3 loss to Jacksonville on Wednesday.
Relievers Ben Chestnutt and Alejandro Torres stifled NC State’s offense in the last 2.1 innings, combining to allow two hits and no earned runs. Chestnutt picked up the win, and Torres recorded the save.
Miami right-handed pitcher Karson Ligon took the mound in the series opener for the first time this season, swapping places with right-handed pitcher Gage Ziehl, who will take the bump on Saturday. He finished the day with a season-high seven strikeouts, allowing four earned runs on six hits in 5.1 innings pitched.
Baker Nelson registered his first loss of the season, giving up the decisive home run to Farrow.
The Wolfpack had plenty of opportunities to score more runs throughout the game but could only bring in 2-of-10 runners in scoring position. NC State stranded runners on second and third in the fifth when Ligon struck out two straight batters to retire the side.
An eight-run second that featured a pair of three-run homers firmly put the Hurricanes in front. Farrow launched a 414-foot home run to center field before Edgardo Villegas followed suit with his own three-run shot.
“I just wanted to damage with runners on,” Farrow said. “I come out every day and do whatever I can to help the team win. “I haven’t been swinging it the way I wanted to, but I’ve made a couple of adjustments and I feel really hot now.”
Three of Miami’s runs were unearned in the inning, as the Wolfpack committed two fielding errors.
However, NC State got two runs back in the third and kept inching closer to the ‘Canes with each passing inning. Finally, a three-run, game-tying homer in the seventh off reliever Ronaldo Gallo sucked the life out of the fans at Mark Light Field.
Farrow immediately responded, though, with his fourth home run of the season to open the seventh.
“If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from being here it is that every game you have in the ACC is a dogfight,” Torres said. “It’s not going to be a walk in the park. We’re going to respect every team and show up ready to fight.”
Next up, the Hurricanes will face NC State at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Mark Light Field before wrapping up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.