The Miami Hurricanes nearly had this game, could have had this game and probably should have had this game.
But that’s not how it worked out.
Crucial eighth-inning errors by third baseman Brad Fieger and right fielder Chantz Mack ruined a brilliant pitching performance by Chris Diaz as the host Canes fell to No. 8 Florida State 4-2 Friday night.
Giovanny Alfonzo got the game-winning hit for the Seminoles in the top of the ninth inning. His hard-hit grounder got past diving first baseman Chris Barr for a double, the only extra-base hit of the game. Alfonzo also has two game-winning hits against Florida this year.
John Sansone added an RBI single, and those were the first two runs allowed this season by Canes closer Eric Nedeljkovic, who has pitched 17 2/3 innings.
The Canes (20-13, 5-8 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have lost six of their past seven games and a school-record-tying four in a row at home, are in last place in the ACC’s Coastal Division, and FSU (26-4, 9-4) remains in first in the Atlantic Division.
Miami has not won a series against FSU since 2009 and has only one ACC series win this season. The Canes would have to win Saturday night at 7 and Sunday at noon to take this series.
Diaz, a left-hander who throws consistently in the 87-88 mph range, threw 128 pitches and went 7 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs in the eighth — but both were unearned thanks to a bad throw by Fieger and a ball that went under the glove of Mack in right field.
Friday’s game got off to a late start due to a 45-minute lightning delay and remained scoreless until the fifth, when the Canes finally got to Luke Weaver, FSU’s right-handed starter.
Weaver, a 19th-round pick by Toronto out of DeLand High, is FSU’s hardest thrower, consistently timed Friday night at 93-94 mph.
The Canes snapped the scoreless tie with two runs In the fifth inning. Miami got four consecutive two-out singles by Alex Hernandez, Mack, Alex San Juan and Michael Broad.
San Juan got the first RBI with an opposite field liner to right, and Broad pulled a pitch sharply to left for the second run. However, San Juan was thrown out trying to advance from first to third on Broad’s single.
It was a curious decision because San Juan is not a fast runner, and he had his knee drained earlier this week.