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No. 17 Miami falls to FAU in midweek contest

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The No. 17 Miami Hurricanes dug themselves too deep of a hole Wednesday night and struggled on both sides of the ball, falling to FAU 5-2 at Alex Rodriguez Park.

FAU (3-1) took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a two-run home run from first baseman Ricky Santiago. Miami starting pitcher Javi Salas surrendered another run in the third and the Hurricanes found themselves down 3-0 early.

Salas didn’t exactly get any help from his offense either, which failed to record a hit until the fourth inning. Miami finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth and cut the deficit at 3-2. Dale Carey and Tyler Palmer hit back-to-back doubles to score the first run and then David Thompson drove Palmer home with a single.

The Owls responded right back in the top of seventh though with two runs of their own, including an RBI double by shortstop Stephen Kerr. The Hurricanes loaded the bases with two outs in the next half of the inning but failed to plate any more runs, generating just two runs on eight hits for the evening.

“We didn't play the game well offensively or defensively,” head coach Jim Morris said. “That's discouraging. I felt if we played well, we should have and could have won. But we didn't.”

Miami (2-2) had one last chance to tie the game in the ninth when Carey came to the plate with two runners on and two outs, but FAU closer Kevin Alexander struck him out on three straight pitches to finish off the victory. The Hurricanes only had themselves to blame, committing four errors in the field for the game, a persistent problem through the first four games of the season.

“We’re counting on winning with pitching and defense and we’ve been playing good defense in practice but we haven’t played these four games,” Morris said. “We’ve got to figure out who is going to get it done defensively and make those plays.”

Miami better figure it out quickly because No. 23 Florida is heading south for a three-game series in Coral Gables beginning Friday. The Gators have had the Hurricanes number in recent years, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings between the schools.

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