Miami Baseball Wins Series Over Wright State

The eleventh-ranked Miami Hurricanes moved to 8-4 on the season after taking 2-of-3 from the Wright State Raiders this past weekend at Mark Light Field.

Game One set the stage early for the type of series that was going to shake down. Wright State grabbed a three-run lead in the top of the second, but Miami chipped away with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Canes loaded the bases by way of a leadoff single by George Iskenderian and back-to-back walks issued to Brandon Lopez and Edgar Michelangeli.

Sebastian Diaz followed with a shot to left-center that wound up a sacrifice fly, bringing home Iskenderian and an error on a Carl Chester line-out brought Lopez home.

Wright State put up four more over the next two innings—including a three-run fourth, pushing the lead to, 7-4. The Canes picked up a run apiece in the third and fourth and did the same in the sixth and seventh, while the Raiders remained scoreless the game’s final five innings.

Down 7-6 entering the bottom of the ninth, Miami was down to its final out after Jacob Heyward—pinch-running for Lopez—was thrown out at second on an attempted steal. Michelangeli wound up drawing the two-out walk, setting the stage for senior catcher Garrett Kennedy, who blasted a game-winning, walk-off home run for the 8-7 comeback victory.

The Canes racked up 11 hits in the win, while Thomas Woodrey went six innings, allowing eight hits and seven runs. Cooper Hammond went the final two innings for Miami and got the win, allowing no hits and striking out one.

Game Two was another one-run differential and more bottom-of-the-ninth heroics in the 4-3 comeback victory. Wright State went up, 2-0 in the first inning and picked up another run in the fourth before Miami broke a five-inning scoring drought with a run in the bottom of the sixth.

The Canes opened the fifth inning with back-to-back singles from Chester and Ricky Eusebio. Zack Collins struck out and a single from Iskenderian loaded the bases, but Willie Abreu—who would later atone for this mid-game setback—hit into a double play, ending the inning.

The Canes inched closer to a comeback, picking up a run in the bottom of the eighth. David Thompson drew a leadoff walk and a double from Kennedy left Miami with two runners in scoring position.

Michelangeli followed with an RBI groundout, driving in Thompson and after pitcher Bryan Garcia shut down Wright State in the top of the ninth, Miami needed one to tie and two to win.

The Canes quickly loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a walk to start the inning—the first hit from Eusebio, who eventually scored on a wild pitch during Abreu’s at-bat.

Abreu—0-for-4 on the night—went on to work Raiders’ closer Andrew Elliott ten pitches into the count before lacing a single to left, bringing Collins home. It was the second straight outing where Elliott was tagged late, having given up the walk-off shot to Kennedy on Friday night.

After back-to-back comeback victories, Wright State wasn’t to be denied in Sunday’s finale. Miami opened with a three-run first, but the Raiders went off in the second, scoring six and never looking back.

A three run fourth gave Wright State a 9-5 lead, which the Canes brought to a three-run deficit after picking up one in the bottom of the eighth, but the Raiders tacked on three more in the top of the ninth and shut down the Canes in the bottom.

Miami racked up 11 hits in the loss and pitching was definitely the culprit. Derik Beauprez only lasted 1.1 innings giving up three hits and was charged with six runs.

Ryan Otero and Jesse Lepore didn’t fare better in his two innings on the mound, surrendering a combine nine hits and getting charged with three runs per 3.2 innings.

Down the stretch Hammond was tagged for three hits and two runs in 0.2 innings, with Andy Honiotes brought in to close the top of the ninth. In-between Leopore and Hammond, Daniel Briggi held it down for three hitless innings before Daniel Sayles gave up a hit and a run on one pitch.

Sunday’s loss was Miami’s first at Mark Light Field this season.

Next up, a Tuesday exhibition against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, followed by a Wednesday night one-off against Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday. The Hurricanes hit the road this weekend for their first conference showdown of the year, taking on the Louisville Cardinals for a three-game series.