UM baseball

Miami Hurricanes fall to Bethune-Cookman

 

For the Miami Herald

If their recent play is any indication, the Miami Hurricanes’ baseball team is headed for trouble this weekend.

The Canes opened a five-game homestand by losing 5-3 to Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday. The Canes have now lost five of their past six games.

It was Miami’s first loss to the Wildcats since 2009, snapping a string of five consecutive wins. It also marked the second week in a row that Miami (20-12) has lost a mid-week game to a state school. Last week, Miami lost 6-1 to FAU.

“We have to play better,” UM coach Jim Morris said. “We made three errors, and we didn’t hit when we had runners on base.”

The Canes, last in the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division with a 5-7 league record, will host No. 8 Florida State (25-4, 8-4) for a three-game series this weekend. FSU leads the ACC’s Atlantic Division.

Against Bethune-Cookman (15-16), the Canes were without shortstop Brandon Lopez (back) and first baseman Chris Barr (shoulder). In addition, catcher Alex San Juan played despite having his knee drained earlier in the week.

Second baseman Alex Hernandez played shortstop, and Ricky Eusebio, normally an outfielder, made his first start at second. David Thompson, who has had his own shoulder issues, made his first start at first base since March 22.

Starting pitcher Javi Salas (2-4) got the loss, going seven innings and allowing all five runs, three of them earned. Salas started the season 2-0 before being demoted from the weekend rotation.

The Wildcats never trailed, getting two runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.

The Canes got on the board in the fifth, when Hernandez’s single through the hole into left field drove in Dale Carey, who had singled and stole second. That made the score 4-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, Michael Broad hit a 2-1 two-seam fastball for a homer to left field to make it 5-3. It was his 15th career home run, the most among active Canes.

“I thought it was going to be an uplift,” Broad said. “I thought it was the start of our comeback. It just didn’t shape out [that way].”

Despite its losing record, Bethune-Cookman has beaten FIU, UCF and South Florida — all in one-game series — and took one of three at Arizona State, with one of the losses in extra innings.

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