May 13, 2005
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia baseball team (32-16, 10-13 ACC) dropped a hard-fought 7-6 decision to the #4 ranked Miami Hurricanes (37-11-1, 18-6-1 ACC) in the first contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. The Cavaliers turned an early 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead through four innings of play before the Hurricanes scored five of the last seven runs in the contest to claim a one-run victory. The one-run loss was Virginia's sixth in the ACC this season.
"Tonight was a great ballgame, it was a great match-up between two very good teams," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "It was a one-run game that unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of it. We have to do a better job of the little details of the game to beat a club of the caliber of Miami. But I knew our players would come out and be ready to play tonight. I was proud of our offensive effort and the way that we batted (Cesar) Carrillo. He's an outstanding All-American pitcher and I felt like we battled him all night long."
Miami wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Hurricanes' Danny Figueroa led off the game with a single through the left side before teammate Ryan Braun crushed a two-run home run to left field to give Miami a two-run advantage. Braun's home run was his team-leading 16th of the season.
But in the bottom of the third inning, Virginia answered right back and took a 3-2 lead when Ryan Zimmerman rocked a three-run home run to left field to give the Cavaliers their first lead of the game. UVa got things started with a two-out rally when Tim Henry and Matt Street hit back-to-back singles before Zimmerman connected on his sixth home run of the season.
Virginia later extended its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Brandon Guyer drilled a solo home run to left field. Guyer's home run was his fourth of the season and gave the Cavaliers their largest lead of the game.
UVa carried its 4-2 lead into the top of the fifth inning before Miami answered back with three runs in the side to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run lead at 5-4. The Hurricanes' D. Figueroa got the inning started with a double down the left field line before Paco Figueroa singled through the right side to put runners on the corners with one out. In Miami's next at-bat, Braun tallied an RBI-single to right-center field to drive in D. Figueroa to cut UVa's lead to 4-3. After UM's Jon Jay walked to load the bases, Miami's Danny Valencia singled up the middle to drive in two runs when his hit plated P. Figueroa and Braun to give the Hurricanes the lead back at 5-4 lead.
Miami extended its lead to 7-4 by scoring two more runs in the top of the eighth inning. The Hurricanes' Walter Diaz led off the side with a walk before he advanced to second base on a UVa error on a sacrifice bunt by Eddy Rodriguez to put runners on first and second with no outs. One batter later, UM's Brendan Katin laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners ahead one base. Miami's Roger Tomas then drew a walk to load the bases before D. Figueroa scored Diaz from third one batter later on a fielder's choice. But the Hurricanes also scored another run the play when UVa tried to turn a double play on D. Figueroa's fielder's choice. Kyle Werman's throw to first base on the play fell slightly short of first baseman Josh Darby stretched-out arm, and the ball bounced off the dirt and popped into the air and away from Darby, which allowed Rodriguez to also score a run on the play. Rodriguez's run gave Miami a 7-4 lead and eventually proved to be the game-winning score.
Trailing by three runs, Virginia made a late charge and scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to make it a one-run ballgame at 7-6. UVa's Street reached base to lead of the side after being hit by a pitch before Zimmerman walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Sean Doolittle grounded out in the Cavaliers' next at-bat to advance Street and Zimmerman to third and second, respectively, before each base runner scored a run on back-to-back RBI's by Josh Darby and Tom Hagan. Darby made it a 7-5 contest when he lined an RBI-single to left field to score Street before Hagan's RBI fielder's choice drove in Zimmerman to make it 7-6. But that would be as close as the Cavaliers would get as the Hurricanes held on for the one-run victory.
UVa starting pitcher Matt Avery (4-5) took the loss after going 5.0 innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits and struck out a team-high three batters. Virginia's Scott Morgenthaler tossed 2.1 innings in relief duty and allowed two unearned runs on one hit before Doolittle took the mound and struck out two batters in 1.1 inning of action.
Miami starting pitcher Cesar Carrillo (12-0) picked up the win and remained perfect this season - and for his collegiate career. Carrillo went 7.1 innings and allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out a game-high eight batters. Carrillo's career record improves to 24-0 at Miami and the Hurricanes are now 34-0 all-time in games he has pitched in. Miami's closer Chris Perez posted his fifth save of the year after going 1.1 inning and allowed one hit before striking out the final two batters he faced to end the game.
The Cavaliers and Hurricanes will return to action on Saturday, May 14th when Virginia and Miami play the second contest of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. The contest will also be televised on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) TV.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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