Easter Sunday belonged to Notre Dame — at least on the baseball field.
The Fighting Irish found a way Sunday night to do what others haven’t done for nearly a month: defeat the Miami Hurricanes.
The Canes stranded 12 runners and Notre Dame scored five runs in the fifth inning to cement a 7-4 victory at Alex Rodriguez Park. In doing so, the Irish snapped UM’s nation-leading 14-game winning streak.
It was Miami’s first loss since falling to now top-ranked Virginia on March 24.
UM, ranked 11th by Collegiate Baseball and 15th by Baseball America, fell to 27-13 overall and 15-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Canes meet the Irish (16-22, 4-16) at 7 p.m. Monday in the rubber game of the three-game series.
“The streak was nice, but the things we did during the streak we didn’t do [Sunday night] — No. 1, hit with guys on base,” UM coach Jim Morris said of his Hurricanes, who outhit the Irish 14 to 10. “We had a lot of opportunities to score runs and left guys on base.
“To Notre Dame’s credit, they gave us nothing. They walked one guy. They made us earn everything we got. The streak was good. We’ve got to try to start another one.”
Notre Dame jumped on the scoreboard first with a run in the second inning. Cavan Biggio, son of former Houston Astro star Craig Biggio, singled to right field, stole second and scored on a single by Phil Mosey.
The Canes scored one in the sixth and three in the seventh but never could put it together long enough to make a big enough dent.
UM freshman Zack Collins had a career-high four hits in five at-bats, with no RBI, and Tyler Palmer added three hits.
The Irish broke open the game in the fifth with back-to-back singles, a UM error and line drive into center to make it 2-0. A sacrifice fly and pinch-hit triple by Kevin DeFilippis drove in two more. An infield single by Biggio scored DeFilippis, and Notre Dame led 6-0.
While Michael Hearne allowed seven hits in five innings to earn the win, UM’s Andy Suarez allowed six runs — five earned — on eight hits and a walk in five innings, matching his shortest outing of the season.
The Hurricanes sustained a major loss Saturday in the opening game of the three-game set when Johnny Ruiz tore the labrum in his throwing (right) shoulder and will need surgery at a time to be determined, Morris told the Miami Herald.
Ruiz is the second third-base starter the Canes have lost to injury this season. The first, sophomore David Thompson, had a rib removed during surgery late last month as the result of venous thoracic outlet syndrome.
Morris said recently that Thompson, whose .328 batting average still leads the team, will not return this season.
Ruiz had started at third for 19 consecutive games, hitting .286 during that period. But his play at third base had been for the most part outstanding, with the Canes fielding .979 during those 19 games — 20 points better than before he took over.