After losing to Texas Tech 3-0 in the winner’s bracket of the Coral Gables Regional on Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes found themselves on the brink of elimination Sunday night, trailing the Red Raiders 1-0 before a downpour caused the game to be suspended until Monday afternoon. Miami slept on it, regrouped, and rallied Monday afternoon to defeat Texas Tech 2-1 to force a winner-take-all regional final on Monday night.
All the Hurricanes had to do was defeat the Red Raiders one more time and they would host an NCAA Super Regional this coming weekend. Instead, Texas Tech responded by shutting the door on Miami’s once promising season.
Texas Tech lefty Cameron Smith pitched the best game of his career, throwing a three-hit, complete-game shutout to defeat Miami 4-0 and propel Texas Tech to its first Super Regional in program history. The Hurricanes meanwhile failed to make it out of the regional round for the fourth consecutive year and haven’t made the College World Series since 2008.
“I thought when we won the first game, we were the home team and I thought we were going to win,” Miami coach Jim Morris said. “I told them, ‘If we win the first game, we'll win the second game.’”
Instead Miami’s bats went cold as they had for most of the regional. The Hurricanes went just 15-for-98 at the plate (.153) against Red Raiders’ pitchers in the teams’ three games, managing just two runs. Left-handed freshman Dylan Dusek also shut out Miami Saturday night.
“It’s a hard thing to explain at any level, whether it’s here or high school or the major leagues and everywhere in between. It’s hard to explain why the bats go cold and exactly why,” Morris said. “We’ve scored a lot of runs. But their two lefties ate our lunch. Crafty lefties. They threw hard, they got ahead, they spotted the ball, and they kept the ball down. They pitched, that's the name of the game, pitched.”
The Hurricanes had plenty of pitching throughout the regional-a team ERA of 1.17-but hit just .201 over five games for a total of 13 runs, 10 of which came in their 10-0 win over fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman on Sunday. In Monday night’s finale, freshman Derik Beauprez threw four solid innings and only allowed one hit before being relieved by Cooper Hammond.
The game was scoreless until the seventh inning, when an error finally put the Red Raiders on the scoreboard. With runners on second and first, Devon Conley bunted to move the runners but Miami catcher Garrett Kennedy overthrew Alex Hernandez covering first base, allowing Ryan Long to score from second.
“I thought it was a mental mistake,” Morris said. “We should have been going to third base there. From the dugout, we were hollering third. When you’re having trouble scoring runs it’s tough at that point when they get a couple of runs.”
Texas Tech then added another run on a sacrifice fly from Alex Humphreys to make it 2-0. Two more runs came later in the ninth on a 2-RBI single by Zach Davis.
Miami meanwhile only put one runner in scoring position the entire night when Johnny Ruiz reached second in the seventh. Hernandez came to the plate with two on and one out but grounded into a double play to end the opportunity.
Texas Tech advances to host College of Charleston, a No. 4 seed that won the Gainesville Regional, in the Super Regional round this weekend. Miami’s season ends with a record of 44-18.