The 13th-ranked University of Miami baseball team needed to rally much like the school’s basketball team did — but it never happened.
The host Hurricanes lost 8-1 to Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday night, falling to 18-8 in advance of a three-game series at North Carolina this weekend.
It was just the second time in 15 tries that FGCU had beaten UM.
“This was our worst game of the year, by far,” Canes third baseman David Thompson said. “But it’s better to get it out of the way now. Hopefully, we can bounce back.”
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Miami’s men’s basketball team was honored on the baseball field on Wednesday night — 13 mostly tall young men throwing 13 simultaneous first pitches.
Less than 24 hours prior, the basketball team had come back from 18 points down against host Richmond to advance to the NIT Final Four.
“We were pumped for them,” Thompson said of the basketball team. “They had an amazing win.”
Quickly after the first-pitch ceremony, however, the school’s good karma was gone, and Miami’s baseball team fell behind on a three-run, first-inning homer by Nick Rivera of FGCU (12-13-1).
Rivera, who entered the game with just one homer on the season, went deep again in the third inning, hitting a two-run blast to left.
“Two mistakes,” Danny Garcia said of the two fastballs Rivera hit. “I was keeping the ball up in the zone, and when you do that you see what happens.”
Garcia (4-1), who entered the game with a 1.66 ERA, took the loss, allowing a career-high 11 hits. He lasted six innings, allowing seven runs, five of them earned.
On the other side, Miami could not solve Jordan Desguin, who was making his first career start. Desguin pitched a four-hitter — all singles — allowing one walk and one run.
“I don’t think we were ready to play,” said Canes coach Jim Morris, whose team is 5-5 against state schools this season and 13-3 against the rest of its competition. “We had 16 fly outs and five strikeouts, so on 21 outs they didn’t have to do anything.
“We didn’t make adjustments as hitters, and we didn’t put pressure on them.”