The baseball game wasn’t even over Sunday when the Miami Hurricanes clinched the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the third consecutive season.
Not that the Hurricanes needed help.
Just moments after Georgia Tech’s victory over Virginia resulted in the Coastal crown for Miami, the fourth-ranked Hurricanes did their own damage.
Miami scored four runs in the fifth to erase a deficit and take the lead, then scored two insurance runs in the sixth to defeat Pittsburgh 8-4 and post at least a 40-win season for the third year in a row.
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“It’s an honor to be the divisional champion again, which is nice to be able to say for three years in a row,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said. “It’s a credit to our players and our team overall as a group —coaches and staff working hard to win what is a very, very tough division.
“Still, we have a chance to win the regular-season conference [title], too. You have different goals set up at the beginning of the year to get you to where you want to be, and ultimately, that’s to be one of the top teams in the country come the NCAA tournament. And all these little steps help you put yourself in that position of being able to host [an NCAA regional] and… get back to Omaha.
“I really believe when a team gets to Omaha,’’ the coach said of the College World Series, “anybody can win.”
In the final game of the final home series of the season, the Canes (40-9, 19-6 ACC) notched their seventh series sweep.
On Saturday, they earned their 11th series victory and eighth victory in nine series. Their only series loss: to Virginia on April 24.
The Canes are assured of being either the No. 1 or 2 seed in the ACC Tournament, which begins May 24 in Durham, North Carolina.
Sunday’s game marked the 15th consecutive victory for UM against Pitt (25-23, 10-16) since the teams first met in 1969.
Danny Garcia (9-3, 3.19) earned the win Sunday without ever having the lead while he was on the mound. UM relievers Devin Myer, Thomas Woodrey and Frankie Bartow did not allow a hit in the final four innings.
On Saturday, UM’s Ryan Guerra earned his first Miami victory after throwing just one pitch.
The Canes tied the score at 3 in the fifth on Chris Barr’s RBI-single that brought home Carl Chester (three hits, three steals), who reached on an infield error.
After Zack Collins walked, Brandon Lopez — now hitting .405 and on a 13-game hitting streak — singled to left to score Barr and put UM up 4-3. UM’s other two runs that inning came on a fielder’s choice that scored Lopez and a throwing error that scored Collins.
“Even if we’re down however many runs,” said Barr, whose three RBI tied a career high, “if there’s still time left in the game and we didn’t have all of our outs, we feel like we can come back and win.”