Walks Cost Wildcats in 10-1 Miami Loss
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - A pair of extended innings made all the difference in Bethune-Cookman’s rematch with the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes, and free bases proved to be a crucial factor as B-CU fell to UM 10-1 on Wednesday night at Mark Light Field.
Although the game turned on the Wildcats, B-CU (15-16) struck first, and early, as Miami (18-12) starter Derik Beauprez provided the Wildcats three consecutive two-out walks in the top of the first. Third baseman Jordan Robinson put the Wildcats on the board with an opposite field RBI single to right field, bringing in second baseman Matt Noble.
While the Wildcats held the Hurricanes through the first two frames, starter John Sever opened with a leadoff walk in the third, allowing Sebastien Diaz to reach as the tie run. Dale Carey reached as a hit batter with one out. Both runners would come in on RBI singles from Tyler Palmer and Willie Abreu to push UM ahead 2-1.
A pair of two-out walks set the stage for a major scoring rift in the game, as the Hurricanes created separation with three consecutive RBI singles from Alex Hernandez, Carey and Palmer. Miami catcher Zach Collins capped off the six-run UM outburst with a three-run double into the left center alley, extending the deficit to 8-1
Entering in the fourth, reliever Michael Austin finished off the frame and pitched two additional innings without allowing a hit or a run. However, he too struggled with walks, allowing four to reach base on balls with two outs.
Relieving Austin, Byron Ferguson took B-CU the last two frames. However, three free bases with two outs in the eighth extended the Hurricanes’ lead. Diaz reached base on balls for one RBI and an RBI single for pinch hitter Ricky Eusebio took the UM lead to 10-1.
Diaz earned five of the 12 Miami walks with his eighth-inning reach, the most for a UM player since 1988. Of the dozen on the night, nine walks were earned with two outs away.
The Wildcats were not without opportunities, as eight of their 10 runners left on base made it to scoring position. However, Bethune-Cookman couldn’t come up with the big hit after the opening frame.
Throwing 3 2/3 innings, Sever (3-2) allowed eight Miami runs on eight hits and four walks. For Miami, Javi Salas (2-3), the losing pitcher in B-CU’s March 5 victory, earned the win, pitching three complete frames with two hits allowed and two strikeouts.
At the plate, Sams paced the Wildcats with a 2-for-4 performance, while Miamian Eros Modena went 2-for-3. Robinson was 1-for-4 with the RBI.
The Wildcats return to Daytona Beach for the weekend, wrapping up the 2014 home slate with a crucial Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) series versus Florida A&M. In addition, B-CU’s “Senior Day” will be held before the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, and Sunday’s finale is scheduled for ESPNU/ESPN3.com broadcast.