Midweek games against NAIA opponents usually aren’t this eventful.
But the Hurricanes needed a ninth-inning walk-off 5-4 victory against St. Thomas on Tuesday at Alex Rodriguez Park to keep the Hurricanes undefeated at 8-0.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth, St. Thomas drew the infield and outfield in, and junior infielder Alex Hernandez lofted a ball over the right fielder.
“I tried to put the ball in play,” said Hernandez, who finished 2 for 4. “I was just trying to see something up [in the strike zone] and hit it hard, make something happen.”
Down 4-2 in the eighth, the Canes tied it when designated hitter Michael Broad, who finished 1 for 3, drive in Chantz Mack and Alex Hernandez with a double to center.
Bryan Radziewski and Eric Whaley, both on strict pitch counts because they are recovering from injuries during the first two weeks of the season, made their season debuts — with vastly different results.
Radziewski, the junior left-hander whose sophomore season was cut short after five starts because of shoulder surgery, started Tuesday and pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three. The lone blemish came against leadoff man Ozney Guillen, son of former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. Radziewski made an errant throw to first that rolled all the way down the right-field line and allowed Guillen to reach third. Radziewski got the next three batters out.
Whaley’s outing did not go nearly as well.
Coming back from soreness in his right arm, the senior right-hander entered in the third inning after Radziewski. In his second inning, the Bobcats (12-4) rallied for three straight hits — a double, single and triple — to force UM coach Jim Morris to yank Whaley out of the game. A sacrifice fly finished off Whaley’s stat line at three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings.
“He hasn’t pitched in a while,” Morris said of Whaley. “The No. 1 thing I thing is that both [Radziewski and Whaley] felt like they were healthy and they threw good and extended themselves a little bit to get ready for their next appearance.”
• Texas Tech 8, FIU 6: FIU fell short of a late comeback in a loss to Texas Tech Red at FIU Baseball Stadium.
The Panthers (7-2) were led by junior Josh Anderson who was 2 for 5 with a three-run home run, and freshman Edwin Rios went 2 for 5.
Texas Tech took a 3-1 lead in the sixth on a lead-off solo home run. The Red Raiders (5-4) added five more in the inning to take an 8-1 lead in the sixth.