University of Miami

UM baseball streak ends with 5-4 loss to N.C. State in ACC tournament

Miami's Brandon Lopez (51) is congratulated after scoring in the fourth inning against North Carolina State' in the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament in Durham, N.C., Friday, May 22, 2015.
Miami's Brandon Lopez (51) is congratulated after scoring in the fourth inning against North Carolina State' in the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament in Durham, N.C., Friday, May 22, 2015. AP

The streak is over.

Pounding opponents with double-digit run production on a regular basis during a 13-game winning streak, the University of Miami baseball team didn’t need extra innings.

That changed during a 12-inning nail-biter Friday night against North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, a game in which the sixth-ranked Hurricanes (43-14) couldn’t hold the lead and couldn’t make enough solid contact at the plate.

And in the end, they couldn’t make a good throw en route to a 5-4 loss that gives second-seeded Miami a 1-1 record in Pool B and eliminates the Hurricanes from making the championship game. N.C. State is the only 2-0 team and will play Louisville or Florida State in Sunday’s championship game.

Miami plays Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon, but the result doesn’t matter because even if N.C. State loses to Virginia, the Wolfpack will advance.

Miami drew 11 walks, but also struck out a season-high 17 times. The Hurricanes had just one extra-base hit in 38 plate appearances — a double to lead off the 12th by David Thompson. But Thompson was stranded on third when Jacob Heyward struck out.

Miami’s normally reliable bullpen also failed.

Michael Mediavilla had a solid 11th inning, but N.C. State’s Preston Palmeiro took the freshman’s second pitch of the 12th into the opposite-field corner for what appeared to be a leadoff double. But outfielder Carl Chester’s throw to second base was way off the mark, and Palmeiro kept running.

An ensuing throw to the plate appeared to be on time to nab Palmeiro, but catcher Zack Collins tried to apply a sweeping tag and dropped the ball as sixth-seeded N.C. State beat the Hurricanes for just the fourth time in the past 19 meetings.

The Hurricanes had averaged 14 runs in its 13 consecutive wins. This time, the game was close throughout against a Wolfpack club Miami swept in a three-game series in mid-March by a combined 18-4 score.

Cooper Hammond was brilliant in relief of Miami starter Andy Suarez, allowing just a leadoff single in the eighth. He struck out two in a row and induced a Chance Shepard groundout to shortstop before UM coach Jim Morris went with normally reliable closer Bryan Garcia, who was seeking his 25th career save.

But the Wolfpack forced extra innings by getting to Garcia for a run in the bottom of the ninth.

▪ Earlier in the day, Thompson was among the 21 players recognized as semifinalists for the 2015 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. Thompson, looking to join Pat Burrell (1998) as just the second Golden Spikes Award winner in program history, is the nation’s RBI leader (80) and is tied for most home runs (19).

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