Miami entered this weekend’s series against Notre Dame on a 13-game winning streak and though the Hurricanes wouldn’t make it 16 in a row, the cardiac Canes found a way to pull off two come from behind victories to take two of three from the Fighting Irish. The Hurricanes are still ranked No. 11 in Collegiate Baseball’s weekly poll, their highest ranking, and also remained No. 15 in Baseball America’s top 25.
Miami took the series opener in thrilling fashion Saturday night with a 3-2 victory on a walk-off sacrifice fly from first baseman Brad Fieger. Entering the ninth inning trailing 2-1, the Hurricanes plated two runs to extend their winning streak to 14 games.
Willie Abreu led off the inning by reaching second base on a fielding error by Notre Dame. Freshman Zack Collins then smacked a triple to score Lawroski, who was pinch running for Abreu, to tie the game 2-2. Sophomore Ricky Eusebio then pinch ran for Collins, scoring on Fieger’s sacrifice fly to right field to give Miami the exciting win.
“I knew the speed of Ricky on third base and knew I just had to get the good part of the bat on it,” Fieger said. “I was just looking to drive something in the outfield. It happened to be deep enough. It feels great. It’s important for us to win that game in the ACC.”
Miami’s offense struggled most of the night and only managed five hits the entire game. Starting pitcher Chris Diaz kept the Hurricanes in the game though with eight strong innings, scattering six hits while striking out five. Sophomore Thomas Woodrey pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second win of the season. The Hurricanes also improved to 9-1 in one-run games this season.
Notre Dame snapped Miami’s win-streak on Easter Sunday though, digging itself into a 7-1 hole before ultimately falling 7-4. The Hurricanes outhit the Fighting Irish 14-10 but left 12 base runners stranded, losing their first game since March 24th.
After an RBI single from Phil Mosey gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Fighting Irish plated five more in the fifth to increase their lead to 6-0 and knock starting pitcher Andrew Suarez from the game. Miami got a run back in in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice from Edgar Michelangeli but Notre Dame got it right back in the seventh on an RBI sacrifice from Conor Biggio for a 7-1 lead.
Miami started to rally in the bottom of the seventh, picking up three runs to cut the deficit to 7-4. After an RBI double by Fieger, Brandon Lopez drove in another run on an RBI groundout to make the score 7-3. Brad Zunica then hit a double to left field to make it 7-4 but that was as close as the Hurricanes would get.
Notre Dame starting pitcher Michael Hearne picked up his third win of the season, striking out two batters while scattering seven hits. Reliever Nick McCarthy surrendered three of Miami’s four runs, two of them earned.
While they were unable to rally Sunday night the Hurricanes fought back from a 3-2 deficit Monday night with a four-run eighth inning for a 6-3 victory to take the series from the Fighting Irish. Not only did the win give Miami its fourth straight ACC series win but it also moved the Hurricanes into a tie with No.1 Virginia and No. 4 Florida State for the best record in the ACC.
After losing the lead in the seventh, Dale Carey reached on a walk in the eighth and Tyler Palmer beamed his third triple of the season to plate Carey and tie the game at three. Collins then drove it Palmer with a short sacrifice fly to give Miami a 4-3 advantage.
“[Palmer] got the big hit, the triple that drove Dale in was huge to tie it and then he scores the winning run,” Morris said. “The scouting report was to try and run on their outfielders so we ran Ty there even though the ball was not that deep. We had the right guy at third that could run.”
Notre Dame reliever Donnie Hissa then walked in two more runs to increase Miami’s lead to 6-3 and give the Hurricanes their 15th win in their last 16 games.
“In the winning streak, I think we came from behind at least three or four games big time…we don’t give up,” Palmer said. “We know we have the sticks to come back at any time.”
Miami returns to the diamond Wednesday night for a road battle with FAU, which it defeated 2-1 last Wednesday.