Noles even series; ‘rubber match’ for No. 1…

The No. 1 Miami Hurricanes dropped a 9-5 contest to No. 2 Florida State on Saturday night in Tallahassee. A night after a ten-run sixth inning, en route to an 11-4 victory, the Canes had no magic left in game two. The Noles tied the series 1-1 and Sunday’s rubber match game is most likely for the top-ranked spot in the polls, come Monday.

The Canes scored three in the first inning when Yonder Alonso drove home Jemile Weeks, who singled and stole second. A batter later, Dennis Raben hit a two-run shot and it looked like Miami would pick up where it left off the night before.

Mark Sobolewski added another run in the third when he sent Alonso home on a sac fly, giving the Canes a 4-0 lead. The Noles stormed back with four of their own in the bottom of the third, tying the game, 4-4.

The Canes stole the lead back momentarily when Adam Severino launched a solo shot to right field, but it was all Noles from that point forward. The FSU bullpen shut down UM the rest of the night, while the Seminoles offense put up five more runs on seven hits between the bottom of the sixth and eighth.

Saturday’s loss snapped a five-game win streak for a Miami team that’s won 19 of their last 21.

Sunday’s action kicks off at 12:30pm ET and will be for all the marbles as #1 and #2 have split the series thus far. Miami hasn’t had many do-or-die type games this season and has rarely entered Sunday looking for a series-clinching win.

A three-game series with Florida Atlantic is the only other time Miami needed game three to clinch.

Eric Erickson will throw for the Canes on Sunday, in his first outing since March 21st against Wake Forest. Erickson has struggled with elbow soreness, but still boats a 5-0 record and 2.84 ERA thus far this season.

Biggest game and series for Miami all season. This one could go either way, but here’s hoping the Canes have the heart to preserve their #1-ranking and steal a series from their arch rivals.