|University of Maine||University of Miami|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Trailing 1-0 heading into the top of the eighth at Mark Light Field, Maine strung together a four-run inning which sparked a 6-1 victory over No. 24 Miami on Friday night in the Sunshine State.
Christopher Bec tied the contest up at one run apiece in the critical top half of the eighth, as he singled home Caleb Kerbs. Maine (3-6) loaded the bases, after Hernen Sardinas hit-by-pitch, and the Black Bears took the lead when Danny Casals drew a walk as Cody Pasic jogged home on the free pass.
With the bases still juiced, Jonathan Bennett drove in Sardinas and Bec to open up the contest at 4-1.
The Hurricanes (3-6) got out of the inning without anymore damage, but a Pasic sac-fly and another Bec single in the top of the ninth extended Maine’s lead 6-1 headed toward the final half inning. Miami put two runners on base, but Cody Laweryson got the final two outs to preserve the win.
Bennett and Bec both finished the game 2-for-4, with two RBI to lead Maine offensively. Kerbs scored two runs on the base paths for the Black Bears.
The starting pitchers, Justin Courtney and Miami’s Jeb Bargfeldt dueled back-and forth throughout the first few innings.
Courtney pitched six strong innings, striking out eight, while giving up just one hit and three walks in 80 pitches on the night. The lone hit the lefty gave up was a home run in the sixth frame.
Bargfeldt countered with by giving up one run on six hits, striking out three in seven and a third innings of work.
Matt Geoffrion (1-0) earned his first career win, pitching two-and a-third innings of relief, allowing two hits while striking out five. Laweryson capped the night by striking out one and allowing a hit in two-thirds of an inning. In total, the Maine pitching staff combined to strike out 14 batters, while allowing just four hits and five walks on the night.
The Hurricanes had runners on first and second after two consecutive walks with just one out in the bottom of the fourth, but Courtney settled down and struck out to strike out the next batter and forced a fly out for the third out in the frame to escape the inning unscathed.
In the top of the sixth, Kevin Doody and Jeremy Pena led off with back-to-back singles, but the Black Bears could bring home any runs after two fielder’s choice plays and a fly out ended the inning.
Andrew Cabezas (0-1) took the loss for Miami, giving up three runs on two hits two walks. Romy Gonzalez hit the solo shot for the Hurricanes in the sixth frame. Freddy Zamora connected on two hits on the day to lead Miami in hits.
Game two of the three game series is set for 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night.