Miami coach Jim Morris speaks on 5-3 loss to Boston College
The University of Miami overcame 22 deficits this season.
They couldn’t reach 23 on Saturday.
The third-ranked Hurricanes are one victory from earning a berth in the College World Series — and one defeat from ending their season.
Unranked Boston College stayed alive in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament by defeating the Hurricanes 5-3 Saturday afternoon in another rain-delayed Super Regional at Mark Light Field.
A winner-take-all game at noon Sunday will determine the team that goes home and the team that makes it to Omaha, Nebraska, in search of a national title.
“Nothing more we can ask for than one game at home with a chance to go to Omaha,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said. “One game at home with a chance to go to Omaha, that’s what [Sunday] is. So, as a team we’ve got to come together, play the game the way we’ve been playing it most of this year and be ready.”
Morris would not commit to a starting pitcher for Sunday, saying right-handed sophomore Jesse Lepore (9-0, 2.20 ERA), who is ailing with shoulder tightness, “might start.’’
Senior Thomas Woodrey (5-4, 4.97), the former Friday night starter before being switched to the bullpen, is another possibility. Andrew Cabezas threw UM’s final 2 1/3 innings Saturday.
“I don’t know,’’ the coach said. “Our third starter right now is a question.’’
The Hurricanes (49-12) have been to the College World Series 24 times and won titles in 1982, 1985, 1999 and 2001.
Boston College (35-21), which last went to the College World Series in 1967, has never won a national title.
“They’re going to go about their business and fight like they always do,’’ BC coach Mike Gambino said of what he expects Sunday from the Hurricanes. “They’re not going to be fazed by any of this.’’
The fourth inning proved to be Miami’s demise on both sides of the ball. UM entered the Super Regional with the nation’s No. 1 fielding percentage (.983) and second fewest errors (38) but made two costly miscues in the fourth that brought in two unearned runs and contributed to the loss.
UM, the visitors, opened the scoring that inning with two runs on a Zack Collins’ home run and an RBI single by Jacob Heyward. But later in the inning, with bases loaded and one out, Edgar Michelangeli struck out and Carl Chester popped out to first.
“Not too much went right for us,’’ Morris said.
The Eagles immediately rallied in their half of the fourth.
Donovan Casey led off with a home run to left field. Joe Cronin followed with a double down the left-field line, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a fielding error from second baseman Johnny Ruiz.
With one out, an error by right fielder Willie Abreu while attempting to make a spectacular play on a line-drive single brought home the two unearned runs as the ball rolled toward the fence behind him.
Boston College led 4-2.
“Just got to get over it,’’ Abreu said. “I got a bad jump on the ball. ... I wasn’t able to get it and it is what it is. Tomorrow is a new day.”
Miami made it 4-3 with a run in the fifth on a triple down the right-field line by Ruiz, one at-bat after Collins was thrown out at third trying to get an extra base on a single by Brandon Lopez.
The Eagles went on to stretch their lead to 5-3 in the eighth on an RBI single into right by Mitch Bigras.
By the end of the eighth, when lightning and torrential rain caused a nearly three-hour delay, UM had stranded eight runners.
The game resumed at 5:51 p.m., with the Canes trying for the comeback in the top of the ninth. After Michelangeli grounded out against reliever Bobby Skogsbergh, Chester singled through the left side, Randy Batista flew out to center and Collins struck out to end the game.
Left-handed junior Danny Garcia (9-4, 3.48 ERA) drew the loss after allowing four runs — two earned — on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Mike King (8-4, 3.29) got the win for BC. He allowed three earned runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings, during which he was drafted by the Miami Marlins.