University of Miami

Sloppy Miami Hurricanes (six errors) fall to Rutgers 17-6 in baseball

Miami starting pitcher Michael Mediavilla throws to a Rutgers batter as the University of Miami baseball team played Rutgers on Sunday, February 19, 2017.
Miami starting pitcher Michael Mediavilla throws to a Rutgers batter as the University of Miami baseball team played Rutgers on Sunday, February 19, 2017. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

A 50-minute, five-error, five-run fourth inning on Sunday all but doomed the Miami Hurricanes.

Rutgers scored those five runs, then added eight in the next three innings in the Scarlet Knights’ first victory of 2017.

The final score after four hours: 17-6, with the University of Miami committing six errors.

UM’s media guide doesn’t list the last time the Hurricanes committed that many errors, but in 1994 Miami eliminated Auburn from the College World Series with a 7-5 victory despite making six errors.

“One of our infielders walked out in front of a bus this morning and it went between his legs,’’ UM coach Jim Morris told reporters in Omaha that day. “That’s one of the ugliest wins we’ve ever had.’’

Given the result, Sunday’s loss at Mark Light Field was likely uglier.

UM’s record for errors in one game is nine, done four times, most “recently’’ against Ohio State on March 20, 1962.

Fast-forward to Sunday’s game, in which UM (2-1) never led Rutgers (1-2) after left-handed starter Michael Mediavilla allowed a first-inning run on two doubles.

“About everything we could do wrong I felt like we did today, from interference to batting out of order in the ninth inning to making six errors,’’ Morris said. “… We had bad pitching and bad defense. That’s a good combination to lose.

“… There was a small strike zone — we didn’t handle that very well. They played much better defense and swung the bat better. We’ve got young players and they’ve got to learn and get better and bounce back and be ready to play the next game.

“We’re not invincible, that’s for sure.’’

Canes baseball coach Jim Morris reflects on ugly 17-6 loss to Rutgers on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017.

Mediavilla, a 6-5, 225-pound junior who went 11-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 18 starts last season, lasted just  3 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs — three of them earned — on four hits and two walks, with two strikeouts, in the loss.

“I felt good,’’ said Mediavilla, who is from Hialeah. “I thought I was controlling it well. But then some things didn’t go our way. We just got beat in every aspect of the game.

“It’s still early in the season. You’ve just got to learn from it.’’

Rutgers reliever Eric Reardon, a freshman pitching in his collegiate debut, won despite allowing three earned runs on three hits and three walks in one inning.

It was the Scarlet Knights’ first victory against UM since the same date in 2011, snapping a 16-game losing streak.

UM used six pitchers who allowed a combined 16 hits and nine walks.

Miami freshman catcher Michael Amditis had an eventful day, with three hits (including a double), three RBI and one run scored. He also committed two throwing errors.

“You can’t take anything lightly,’’ Amditis said. “It was all a big lesson to us. We didn’t really get after them as much as we wanted to.

“We’ll get them next time.’’

The Miami Hurricanes lost to Rutgers 17-6, on Sunday February 19, 2016.

Junior-college transfer Michael Burns also made two errors. Burns singled and reached base twice, adding a stolen base.

Morris said the only redeeming factor Sunday was how his players “fought back.’’

The Canes scored three runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Amditis’ single brought home Edgar Michelangeli (hit by pitch) and Carl Chester’s single scored Amditis and Chris Barr.

In the fifth, Romy Gonzalez (double) and Michelangeli (walk) scored on Amditis’ double and Barr (walk) scored on James Davison’s single.

For Rutgers, St. Thomas Aquinas graduate and Pembroke Pines resident Jawuan Harris had another outstanding game. After Harris hit two home runs in UM’s 8-4 victory on Saturday, he reached base five of six times on Sunday, with two doubles and four runs scored.

“Just learning from their mistakes,” said Morris, when asked what he wanted his players to take from the experience. “You’ve got to accept the challenge of getting better and understand we’re going to see better and better teams.’’

Miami plays at FIU (1-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday for its first regular-season game against the Panthers since 2008.

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