Canes’ Isaac Quinones and Adrian Del Castillo each hit home runs in loss to UCF
The sizzle was extinguished Wednesday night at Mark Light Field.
UCF, coached by former Miami Hurricanes catcher and longtime UM fan favorite Greg Lovelady, snapped the No. 18 Hurricanes’ season-long, seven-game winning streak with an 8-7 victory after UM scored six runs in the final two frames.
With UM down 8-1 and two outs in the eighth, UM’s Raymond Gil hit a 3-run homer to left-center, followed by an absolute missile over the right-center wall by JP Gates to cut UCF’s lead to 8-5.
Then, in the ninth, UM got two more with a blast to left by pinch-hitter Isaac Quinones.
Suddenly it was 8-7.
But with UM runners on second and third, UCF sophomore Jack Sinclair got his first career save by striking out Gil.
“We come to play,’’ UM coach Gino DiMare said. “The mindset is good. But we gave up six runs in that one inning — you just can’t do that. ...I told them I’m upset right now. Nobody should be happy when you lose. Period. But it will be over with by tomorrow, and we’ll move on and be ready for Wake Forest.”
The Knights (31-19, 9-12 American Athletic Conference) scored their initial six runs in the fifth inning — the first two on a double by Ray Alejo, the next on a sacrifice fly by Matthew Mika, another on the first of two wild pitches by Gates and the last two on a home run by Tyler Osik.
Four of those runs were credited to UM right-handed junior Mark Mixon (2-1, 1.93), who took the loss; and two came off left-handed freshman Gates.
The Hurricanes (34-15, 14-11 Atlantic Coast Conference), who came into the game with the nation’s No. 12 RPI out of 299 Division I baseball teams, leave Thursday for their final regular-season road series at Wake Forest (28-20, 12-12 ACC). The Canes return home to face Duke next Thursday through Saturday for their final regular-season series before the ACC tournament begins in Durham, North Carolina May 21-26.
“We know these next two series are huge,’’ DiMare said. “Gotta play well in the ACC. Tonight didn’t end our season. It’s disappointing because we lost and of course we had a chance there at the end, but we did a good job of making it a chance at the end.”
Right-handed junior Albert Maury started for the Canes in a strong outing and kept the Knights scoreless in three innings pitched after UM’s Adrian Del Castillo blasted his seventh home run of the season to right-center in the opening frame.
All of UM’s scoring came off home runs.
Chris Williams (6-4, 5.08) earned the victory.