The University of Miami wasted a dominant performance by veteran left-hander Bryan Radziewski and couldn’t solve a Maine pitcher who had a 15.63 ERA last season.
UM made five errors and got just two hits. And the Canes’ much-hyped freshman class has yet to produce a hit in two games, going a combined 0 for 17.
The result of all that was a 3-1 victory for visiting Maine over No. 16 Miami on Saturday night, evening the season-opening series at one game each.
Miami and Maine will play the series finale Sunday at noon with Andy Suarez pitching for the Canes. Maine will start left-hander Jake Marks, who was 4-0 last season with a 3.16 ERA.
“I feel like our guys can hit,” said UM coach Jim Morris, who noted that his players have hit well in intrasquad games. “But Maine is pretty good. I bet they’re the best team in the Northeast.”
Radziewski, a junior, struck out 10 in five innings, allowing only two runs, both unearned. It was the sixth time in his career that he had double digits in strikeouts.
Unfortunately for the Canes, Maine left-hander Scott Heath was also outstanding, allowing one run in seven innings and striking out eight. He was nowhere near that good last season, when he made four appearances, including three starts.
“He worked low,” Canes outfielder Dale Carey said. “He did a good job.”
Radziewski struck out the first five batters he faced — three short of the Miami record for consecutive strikeouts held by Neal Heaton (1981), Joe Grahe (1989) and Alex Santos (1998).
After he allowed an infield hit, Radziewski struck out the next batter to finish his first two innings with six strikeouts.
Maine took a 2-0 lead in the third, using three Miami errors to push across its unearned runs. Two of the errors were on failed pickoff throws by Radziewski.
The inning would have ended before that, but third baseman David Thompson could not field a slow roller. Had Thompson — who made two errors in the game — made the play, Miami would’ve escaped any damage.
Radziewski blamed himself for hitting the leadoff batter in that inning.
“I had the guy 0-2, and I hit him,” he said. “Nothing good can come from that.”
Miami scored a run in the third on a double steal. Freshman shortstop Laz Rivera, making his first collegiate start — last year’s regular, Brandon Lopez, is expected to miss a couple of weeks because of a knee injury — scored on the back end of Carey’s steal of second.
Miami nearly tied the score in the seventh when senior pinch-hitter Brad Fieger — who has been bothered by a back injury — made his bid for more playing time with a long drive that short-hopped the fence in left for a double.
With two outs, Alex Hernandez hit an opposite-field drive to right. But Maine right fielder Brian Doran made a stellar play, tracking back and catching the ball just before he bumped into the wall.
San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso, a former Canes star, was honored before the game. But Alonso’s presence failed to inspire Miami’s hitters.
“We’re a better hitting team than this,” Carey said. “We just need to show it.”