It’s not as thrilling as a few wins over top-ranked Florida would have been, but its credit, Miami has responded in style since getting swept by the Gators. The Canes are 4-0 since last weekend, including this weekend’s home sweep of Boston College and last week’s come-from-behind win over Miami of Ohio.
The Canes needed a three-run ninth, and a few RedHawks’ errors, to erase a 3-1 bottom-of-the-ninth deficit for the 4-3 win, but Miami had an easier time with ACC foe Boston College.
Friday night’s showdown at The Light started slow, but the Canes finished strong. Senior catcher Peter O’Brien drove in Tyler Palmer with an RBI double to left in the bottom of the first but Miami bats froze up until the bottom of the seventh.
The Eagles posted a three-run fifth to take a 3-1 lead, rattling starter Eric Erickson, who balked and set the stage for a Blake Butera RBI single to left, driving in two runs and putting BC up.
Miami looked ready to strike in the bottom of the sixth, but pinch-hitter Michael Broad struck out swinging with the bases loaded and a better later Palmer field out to right. The Canes would get it all back, and then some, in the bottom of the seventh.
After an O’Brien walk, Rony Rodriguez smacked an RBI double to left field, driving in O’Brien and cutting the deficit to, 3-2. Rodriguez was driven home by Brad Feiger, who tied the game with an RBI single.
Esteban Tresgallo got on base thanks to a fielding error, with Feiger advancing to second and after Chantz Mack fouled out to third, Stephen Perez homered to right and gave Miami the 6-3 lead.
The Canes picked up one more in the eighth when Rodriguez drove in Dale Carey, who drew a walk earlier in the inning, but it was nothing more than insurance as the Eagles never scored again after the three-run fifth.
Saturday was another slow start, but Miami finished strong, getting the win and clinching the series. Boston College started out with a two-run first, fueled by a dropped fly ball and a subsequent throwing error, resulting in a 2-0, Eagles lead.
The Canes got on the board in the bottom of the third when O’Brien drove in Jarred Mederos with an RBI bloop to right. Mederos scored as a result of Palmer’s sacrifice bunt which moved him from first to second.
Mederos also got the fifth inning rolling with a double. Palmer then drew a walk and Carey hit an RBI single up the middle, bringing Mederos home and tying the game. O’Brien then looked poised to give Miami the lead, but a hard shot up the middle hit the pitcher’s mound and fell into place for an inning-ending double play.
Starting pitcher Eric Whaley stood strong, holding the Eagles scoreless for the next five innings, getting pulled after 93 pitches after the Canes tied the game, 2-2.
Boston College too a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, but Miami quickly responded with a three-run eighth, starting with a solo home run from Feiger, tying the game 3-3. From there Tresgallo got a hit, Broad was hit by a pitch and Perez roped a two-run triple to center, sealing the win.
E.J. Encinosa closed out the ninth the way fans hoped he would have shut down Florida a week prior, retiring three straight batters to close things out.
The Canes completed the sweep of the Eagles on Sunday in a game that was never in question. Miami got on the board with one in the second as Tresgallo opened with a triple to left center and scored a batter later when Perez reached on an error.
In the fourth, Perez drew a walk but was out at second when Mederos reached on a fielder’s choice. A batter later Garrett Kennedy singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, which sent Mederos to third. Palmer then flied out to center, advancing Kennedy and scoring Medros for the 2-0 Miami lead. Carey then filed out to end the inning.
Miami added two more in the eight, pushing the lead to, 4-0 before Boston College even registered a run. Tresgallo drew a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Perez then laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Tresgallo to third and a Mederos double brought Tresgallo home.
Kennedy popped out to first, moving Mederos to third and a Palmer single to right scored Mederos. Carey struck out looking to end the inning, but the damage was done and the Canes took a four-run lead into the top of the eighth.
Boston College tacked on one, but Miami shut it down, again with Encinosa striking out two and putting the game to bed quickly. Bryan Radziewski got the win, pitching seven innings, giving up one hit and striking out six. He was relieved by Eric Nedeljkovia, who pitched one inning, gave up two hits and an earned run before Encinosa was called upon to close it out.
Miami enters this week 12-3, 3-0 in ACC play after the sweep of Boston College and ranked thirteenth, as the new rankings are yet to be released. Next up for the Canes, a Tuesday night meeting with Illinois State at home, a Wednesday night showdown with Central Florida in Orlando and then a three-game road trip at Duke, with first pitch at 6pm ET at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday night.