University of Miami

UM baseball tops Wright State on Garrett Kennedy’s homer in ninth

UM’s Garrett Kennedy, pictured earlier this season vs. Rutgers, hit a walk-off home run to lift the Canes over Wright State on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.
UM’s Garrett Kennedy, pictured earlier this season vs. Rutgers, hit a walk-off home run to lift the Canes over Wright State on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Wright State coach and two-time Miami Hurricane national champion Greg Lovelady made his return to Mark Light Field one to remember Friday night.

Current Hurricane Garrett Kennedy made it even more memorable, booming an inside fastball over the right-field fence for a two-run, walk-off homer to lift No. 11 Miami to an 8-7 victory.

The Hurricanes committed four errors in the first four innings, which translated to one earned run of the Raiders’ seven.

But the Canes (7-3) overcame their inadequacies, chipping away at the lead and finally going ahead on Kennedy’s blast after Edgar Michelangeli reached on a walk.

“It was actually pretty awesome,’’ said Kennedy, a senior. “I kind of was hoping the guy was going to keep coming with fastballs. He left one up and I was able to put a good swing on it.

“That’s the first one I’ve ever had.’’

Things weren’t as rosy defensively.

Together, the teams committed nine errors.

After four innings, the only earned run for Wright State (4-3) was a solo homer by Ryan Fucci, who also doubled and tripled for a four-RBI night.

“A crazy game,’’ Morris said. “The first four or five innings we played about as bad as we could play. But our guys got down big and we came back. You can’t be any more clutch than that.’’

UM reliever Cooper Hammond (2-1) earned the victory for the Hurricanes in two innings of work.

Left-handed UM starter Thomas Woodrey, filling in for injured ace Andy Suarez, gave up seven runs and still lowered his ERA to 1.93.

Lovelady, a Miami Palmetto High graduate, helped the Canes win the College World Series in 1999 and 2001. He had nearly a dozen family members attend from all over the country.

“It’s different to be on the other side, but still cool,’’ said Lovelady, who was applauded warmly by the crowd of 2,389.

Morris said it was good to see his former catcher.

“Always,’’ the Miami coach said. “A very good player for us and good friend.’’

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