University of Miami

Seminoles come through in the clutch and hand Hurricanes a tough loss in series opener

UM pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt and second baseman Romy Gonzalez

Bargfeldt (left) and Gonzalez discuss 6-3 loss to FSU on Friday, April 21, 2017.
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Bargfeldt (left) and Gonzalez discuss 6-3 loss to FSU on Friday, April 21, 2017.

The Florida State Seminoles came through in the clutch.

The Miami Hurricanes did not.

That pretty much summed up Friday night for the University of Miami, as it has for most of the season.

Dylan Busby’s three-run, fifth-inning blast just inside the left-field foul pole was enough to break a 1-1 tie and give Florida State the padding it needed to defeat the Hurricanes 6-3 at Mark Light Field.

“Just one pitch,’’ UM starter Jeb Bargfeldt said. “One pitch. Kind of windblown. he did a good job of keeping his hands back and put a good swing on it. ...That was a mistake that unfortunately cost my team the game and something I’m going to have to swallow.”

The Hurricanes (18-20, 9-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) are in desperate need of victories to achieve their goal of qualifying for the NCAA tournament and extending their NCAA-record, 44-game regional streak. But they came up empty with one out and bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth after left-handed reliever Alex Byrd struck out James Davison and right-handed reliever Jim Voyles got Carl Chester to end the inning on a groundout to shortstop.

UM also left bases full in the eighth after scoring a run on a bases-loaded walk.

The Seminoles (25-15, 10-9) bolstered their cause to secure a place in the tournament with their fourth consecutive victory, including two wins over No. 3 Clemson.

Busby was 3 for 5 with 4 RBI.

Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris reflects on 6-3 loss to FSU on April 21, 2017.

“Tough loss for us,’’ Miami coach Jim Morris said. “We had a couple of opportunities there to win the game and didn’t get it done. Left the bases loaded twice. In close games those things will get you.

“I thought Jeb threw good. The one pitch was a changeup out in front. He hit it off the end of the bat and it was kind of windblown down the left-field line. We played good defense. We just didn’t get a couple of hits when we needed them.

“...You gotta get big hits to win games and you’ve got to hit with guys in scoring position and we didn’t do that tonight.’’

UM sophomore Romy Gonalez, who came into the game with a team-leading six home runs, gave most of the 3,523 fans their biggest reason to cheer with a second-inning solo shot over the left field fence.

The Canes scored their second run in the fifth after Chris Barr doubled to left, Edgar Michelangeli dropped a single into short right, and Michael Burns took FSU starter Cole Sands’ first pitch and singled into right field to score Barr and make it 4-2.

UMFSU one mhd add
Miami Hurricanes first baseman Christopher Barr (17) underhand flips a ball to first base to put out in first base a Florida State Seminoles baserunner in the top of the second inning during a game at Mark Light Stadium on Fri., April 21, 2017. Al Diaz

The Seminoles scored their fifth run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Walls and their sixth run in the ninth when Busby hit an RBI-double down the left-field line.

Sands allowed two runs on five hits and one walk, but couldn’t get the victory as he exited after 4 1/3 innings. He struck out seven.

Voyles (2-0, 3.03 ERA) earned the win after allowing one run on two hits and two walks in three innings.

Left-handed junior Bargfeldt (4-3, 2.32), making his first Friday-night start, took the loss by allowing a career-high five runs on seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings.

“Disappointing loss, obviously,’’ Bargfeldt said, “but right now we’re just focused on coming out tomorrow and having the same attitude, same intensity, even the series and get back with the chance to win. It’s rivalry weekend. You can’t get down. FSU and Miami are always hard-fought games and they’re always filled with ups and downs. We have every opportunity to take this series.’’

The series continues at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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