Miami Hurricanes fight back in eighth to beat Notre Dame

04/22/2014 12:01 AM

04/22/2014 12:44 AM

A night after having their 14-game winning streak snapped, the Miami Hurricanes might have started another one.

Trailing 3-2 and down to their final six outs, the No. 15 Canes rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to defeat Notre Dame 6-3 Monday at Alex Rodriguez Park.

The game that began as a pitcher’s duel dissolved for the Irish when senior Tyler Palmer’s one-out triple over the left-fielder’s head drove home the tying run. Freshman Zack Collins — 7 for 12 in the series — followed with a sacrifice fly to shallow left field, pushing home Palmer to give Miami a 4-3 lead.

Two bases-loaded walks ensured the victory and wrapped up an inning in which Miami sent 10 men to the plate.

“To win the series is huge,” UM coach Jim Morris said. “It was a great team effort to come back there in the eighth after we gave up a couple runs. I’m very proud of our guys bouncing back in a situation like that because this guy [Pat Connaughton] was really throwing good.”

Added Palmer: “Very good feeling — a little relief. When they responded, we had to respond as well. It’s one in a row right now.”

The Canes (28-13, 16-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) have won 15 of their past 16 games and four consecutive conference series. They are tied with top-ranked Virginia in the Coastal Division, and part of a three-way ACC tie that includes fourth-ranked Florida State.

Notre Dame, playing Miami in a series for the first time since 1999, fell to 16-23 and 4-17.

Canes closer Bryan Garcia earned the victory, holding the Irish hitless over the final two innings.

The game began as a pitcher’s duel between UM left-handed senior Bryan Radziewski and Notre Dame right-handed junior Connaughton.

Radziewski allowed three earned runs on four hits and five walks in seven innings. He struck out nine. Through six innings, Notre Dame hitters were 1 for 8 against Radziewski with runners on base.

In the seventh inning, two walks, a passed ball and wild pitch by Radziewski left Notre Dame runners on first and third. With two outs and two strikes, Mac Hudgins singled through the right side to drive home Conor Biggio (fielder’s choice) and Robert Youngdahl (walk) and put Notre Dame up 3-2.

Both teams opened their scoring in the fourth inning — the Irish with one run and the Canes with two on Collins’ double that scored Dale Carey (single) and Willie Abreu’s single that scored Collins.

“I was just trying to hit the ball hard,” Collins said of his recent tear in which he has raised his average to .281. Before the streak began in late March, Collins was hitting .191.

“He hits the ball on the fat part of the bat as much as anybody who has been around here in a long time,” Morris said. “He’s strong and it jumps. It’s fun to watch him hit.”

Miami meets the FAU Owls in Boca Raton at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The teams have split their previous two games this season.

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