The three-game series that seemed to never end finally did so Monday night at Alex Rodriguez Park. And once again, the Miami Hurricanes came out losers after taking the series opener.
This time it was the No. 3 Cavaliers who made the best of an initially bad situation by scoring two runs in the ninth inning Monday for the 5-3 victory — the Cavs’ second victory against Miami in as many nights after the Hurricanes won the opener Saturday.
“Virginia has an outstanding club,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said. “We’re that close to being a good club,’’ he added, holding his thumb and forefinger nearly together. “We had a chance to win all three games.
“We just have to keep battling and get it turned around.’’
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For Miami (13-12, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which fell out of the top-25 rankings Monday, the game marked the third time in four ACC series that the Canes won the opener then dropped the next two. It happened against then-No. 3 Florida State, against Georgia Tech and now, Virginia (19-4, 7-2).
Virginia went ahead in its final at-bat on a bases loaded, two-run single up the middle by cleanup hitter Nick Howard. Two batters before Howard, Daniel Pinero doubled in front of diving right fielder Willie Abreu.
The hit dropped just inside fair territory by the right-field line.
“We played most of the game well,’’ said Abreu, who also hit a three-RBI triple in the third to put UM ahead 3-0. “We’re hanging in there and we can beat anyone in the country. We’re going to continue to battle. No mistakes are going to stop us from working harder every day.
“Baseball is a tough game and you have to stick in there mentally.
“... I should have made the play.’’
The Canes’ final attempt had Alex Hernandez striking out looking, pinch-hitter Ricky Eusebio striking out looking and Johnny Ruiz flying out to left field.
UM starter Bryan Radziewski was relieved by Bryan Garcia, who got the loss, to start the eighth inning. Radziewski allowed three earned runs on four hits and a career-high six walks. He struck out seven.
Garcia (2-2) allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks.
Virginia starter Brandon Waddell allowed three earned runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. Reliever Connor Jones (3-0) earned the victory.
Miami scored its three runs in the third on singles by Brandon Lopez and Garrett Kennedy, a walk by Brad Fieger and Abreu’s triple.
Virginia came back with three of its own in the fifth on two RBI singles and an RBI groundout.
Hurricanes infielder David Thompson underwent a six-hour surgery Monday morning to repair a problem with his right arm, Morris said. “He had some blockage in a blood vessel and the blood was going out but not coming back, which is what caused the arm to swell.
“He wasn’t getting good circulation because the top bone in his rib cage was cutting off the blood flow a little bit. They said it was a successful surgery and he’ll be fine.
“The surgery was six hours.’’
Morris said he had no idea when Thompson will be back on the team.