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Virginia swept in Miami for first series loss of the year

Miami pitching is too much for Cavalier bats to handle

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Texas v Virginia dsBruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In what has been a magical season for Virginia baseball to this point, the Hoos couldn’t keep the bats hot and lost their first weekend series of the season at the hands of the Miami Hurricanes. After averaging nearly 11 runs a game so far on the year, Virginia could only muster 11 runs across three games falling 6-2, 5-4, and 15-5.

On Friday night, Miami starter Carson Palmquist kept Virginia hitters guessing all game long going six innings, only giving up two hits, two unearned runs, and striking out eight Wahoos. Virginia’s only two hits of the night came courtesy of Justin Rubin and Virginia was only able to score runs thanks to Miami mistakes. In the top of the second, Chris Newell scored on a throwing error after Rubin singled and Colin Tuft scored on a ground out by Griff O’Ferrall.

The Hurricanes used the long ball to get those runs back and more. In the bottom of the second Maxwell Romero hit a solo shot to make the score 2-1 and the next inning Yohandy Morales hit a two run homer to give Miami the lead for good. They’d tack on one more run in the fifth and two runs in the sixth just for good measure. Virginia starter Nate Savino went five innings giving up six earned runs on ten hits. The loss runs his record to 4-2 on the year.

Saturday, Virginia let one get away falling 5-4 with a ninth inning rally that fell just short. Miami got on the board first with a two-run home run by Jacob Burke. But the Hoos answered with four runs in the top of the fourth thanks in large part to a bases loaded, base clearing double by Alex Tappen. Miami got a run back in the bottom half of the fourth, but the Hoos still led 4-3 midway through six innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Zack Levenson reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a walk from Jay Woolfolk. A pass ball moved the runners into scoring position and a wild pitch allowed Levenson to score and knot the game at four.

Miami would score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a solo home run by Morales off Brandon Neeck who picked up the loss.

The Hoos had a chance however. In the top of the ninth, Chris Newell led off with a single. After two strike outs, Max Cotier singled and O’Ferrall was hit by a pitch. That brought up Kyle Teel who after fouling off three pitches grounded out to the pitcher to end the rally and the game.

Sunday was all ‘Canes. Miami used a five run third inning, six run fourth inning, and a three run sixth inning to complete the sweep 15-5. Jake Berry only made it three innings and picked up the loss giving up five runs on five hits and one walk, though he did pick up three strikeouts. At the plate, Newell had a banner day going 4-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Ethan Anderson also had a two hit day and chipped in an RBI.

The Hoos are back at home Tuesday for a 6 PM matchup with interstate rival Old Dominion. It’s a rematch of last season’s Columbia Regional final and the first of a home and home series (the return game will be played in Norfolk’s Harbor Park) between the two teams. Then next weekend they head to Pittsburgh where they look to get back on track against the 18-12 (7-7) Pitt Panthers.