The sixth-ranked Miami Hurricanes rocked Mark Light Field with two impressive baseball performances Friday and Saturday nights to take the series from No. 4 Louisville – the Cards’ first Atlantic Coast Conference series loss since debuting in the ACC last season.
But the Canes deflated quickly Sunday afternoon in a sloppy game that Louisville won 4-3 to avoid the sweep and snap Miami’s five-game winning streak.
“It was a very good series for us, very good week, winning on the road then winning the series from the No. 4 team,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said. “But disappointed in the way we played today.’’
The teams combined for five errors – three by the Hurricanes, who also struggled at the plate. Miami had two hits through seven innings, both of them by nationally heralded slugger Zack Collins, who is hitting .421.
Never miss a local story.
After his first-inning double, Collins opened the sixth with a home run down the right-field line to make it 4-3, but that was as close as UM would get.
The Hurricanes (16-4, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) struck out 11 times and were 0-9 with runners in scoring position.
“What we did well the first two games we didn’t do too well [Sunday],’’ said Collins, who has reached base in 15 consecutive games. “We played good defense the first two games. We hit with runners in scoring position. We didn’t do that [Sunday].’’
With two outs in the eighth and Johnny Ruiz and Brandon Lopez on first and second, Willie Abreu – the same man who hit a walk-off grand slam on Friday – struck out looking.
“I thought we had a chance,’’ Morris said of Abreu. “The guy hit two home runs the other day. You’re hoping. The wind is blowing out. You can’t say, ‘Go up there and hit a home run.’ But I’m thinking, ‘Go up there and hit a home run.’’’
The Cards (16-4, 4-2) had five hits and made two errors.
Louisville’s left-handed starter Drew Harrington (4-1, 1.74 ERA) gave up the three runs – two earned – on two hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six.
Canes pitcher Danny Garcia (3-2, 1.78) took the loss in five innings. He allowed all four runs – three earned – on four hits and a career-high four walks. Garcia got sick on Thursday and stayed home for the first two games, but told Morris he was ready to go Sunday.
“I’m not going to use that as an excuse,’’ he said. “Obviously [Sunday] wasn’t my day. I didn’t have my command and I came up short.’’
UM freshman reliever Andrew Cabezas gave up one hit in three scoreless innings, extending his streak to 10.1 scoreless innings.
Before Collins’ homer, the Canes scored two in the first inning on a walk by Chris Barr, double by Collins, RBI-groundout by Jason Heyward and an error.
Louisville scored a run in each of the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
UM next plays Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Mark Light, with a weekend home series against Clemson (16-3, 5-1).