‘Canes drop second straight game against No. 7 Virginia, 6-5

Junior infielder Dominic Pitelli hits in the second inning of Miami’s game against FSU on Friday, Mar. 31 at the Mark Light Field. Photo credit: Sam Peene

In a heated ACC matchup between two of the top-20 teams in the nation, the 20th-ranked Miami Hurricanes dropped their second game in a row, 6-5, to the 7th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon.

It was a back-and-forth battle, with each team trading blows the entire game. Both teams swapped leads and ties all game long until Virginia took the lead for good after the sixth inning.

Miami had chances to score in the last third of the game, as the winning run was at the plate in all of the innings.

The top of the order delivered for the Cavaliers. Their first four batters went a combined 10-18 and knocked in half of their runs. Third baseman Jake Gelof led the way for Virginia. He was 3-5 with three RBIs batting in the three hole. Gelof knocked home what would end up being the winning run in the bottom of the sixth.

‘Canes shortstop Dominic Pitelli was the best player at the plate on Saturday for Miami. He went 3-4 with an RBI and tied the game up in the sixth. Edgardo Villegas also led off the game with a two-run shot for Miami that set the tone of the game going forward. It was a good response early, as Miami felt embarrassed by its 14-2 loss on Friday night against Virginia.

Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for the ‘Canes. Virginia lefty Angelo Tonas retired all three batters he faced in the sixth and got the win for the Cavaliers. That paved the way for Jake Berry to toss two scoreless innings to set up Viginia closer Jay Woolfolk to close it out in the top of the ninth.

“It’s a one-run game and we have a chance to win the game with one swing of the bat,” Miami manager Gino DiMare said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t played too well these two games.”

Miami sophomore Rafe Schlesinger took the loss. Miami starter Alejandro Rosario gave up eight hits through 4.1 innings, being dinged for five earned runs.

The ‘Canes look to close out the series on a positive note tomorrow at Disharoon Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, at 1 p.m.