CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 20, 2011) – The Rutgers baseball team tried to erase a 5-0 deficit but the Scarlet Knights’ second-come-from-behind bid for victory in as many days fell short in a 5-3 loss to No. 18 Miami in the series finale Sunday afternoon in front of 2,885 fans at Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Hurricanes (2-1) captured the series with two victories against the Scarlet Knights (1-2). All three games were closely contested with Miami holding a 12-10 edge in total runs in the series. Miami escaped with a 2-1 win in 11 innings in Friday’s series opener and Rutgers captured a 6-5 victory in 10 innings in Saturday’s contest before the Hurricanes 5-3 win in Sunday’s series finale.
Miami scored all five of its runs in the fourth inning. UM’s Michael Broad was struck by a pitch with one out and Harold Martinez followed with a two-run home run to left field to open the scoring in the frame. Later in the inning with two outs and men on second and third, Miami’s Brad Fieger doubled to the gap in right-center field to bring home two more runs. Fieger capped the scoring by racing home as the Hurricanes executed a double steal in the frame.
Junior Dan Perrine (Scotch Plains, N.J.) opened the sixth with a double and two outs later moved to third where the Scarlet Knights had runners on the corners after a Steven Zavala (Randolph, N.J.) five-pitch walk. Sophomore Steve Nyisztor (Toms River, N.J.) then cleared the bases with one swing of the bat as he took a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a three-run home run to cut the Hurricane’s lead to 5-3. The home run ended Miami starter Eric Whaley’s day.
The Scarlet Knights put a pair of runners on with two outs in the eighth but could not push across any runs as Miami went to its second reliever of the contest in Daniel Miranda to get out of the inning.
The Hurricanes put a pair of runners in scoring position without recording an out in the bottom half of the eighth, but sophomore reliever Jerry Elsing (Montville, N.J.) came in and shut the door with a pair of strikeouts and a pop out to end the inning unscathed.
Miranda stopped RU in the ninth to allow Miami to escape with the game and series victory.
Rutgers starter Nathaniel Roe (Plainfield, N.J.) (0-1) worked 5.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts in the loss in his first career start with the Scarlet Knights. Sophomore Rob Corsi (Oceanport, N.J.) and Elsing combined for 2.1 innings of shutout relief for RU.
Whaley (1-0) also worked 5.2 in the start for Miami with four strikeouts and three runs allowed on two hits in the win. Hurricane reliever Javi Salas and Miranda combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief with Miranda picking up the save.
Rutgers will return to the Sunshine State next weekend as the Scarlet Knights open a three-game series with Michigan in Port St. Lucie on Friday at 2 p.m.