Miami swept by Virginia with 6-3 loss

Junior right-handed pitcher Ben Chestnut fields the ball and throws it to first base in attempt to get the Jacksonville University runner out at Mark Light Field on March 8. Photo credit: Reese Putnam

Coming into their series against the seventhranked Virginia Cavaliers, the No. 20 Miami Hurricanes were redhot, winning five straight games, including a sweep over rival Florida State. However, all of Miami’s momentum came to a halt against Virginia.

The ‘Canes were defeated 6-3 in the weekend series finale against the Cavaliers at Disharoon Park.

“They outplayed us,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “We didn’t walk a whole lot and we struck out a lot. They are tough at-bats. They are tough outs. They battle, foul pitches off and take you deep into counts. We have to play better on the road.”

Virginia freshman Jack O’Connor picked up the win with a strong three earned runs on 6.1 innings pitched, including nine strikeouts. Meanwhile, Chris Scinta took the loss for Miami, as he allowed two earned runs in 0.1 innings. Lefthander Jake Berry closed out the game for the Cavaliers, retiring the final three Miami batters in order.

Shortstop Dominic Pitelli and third baseman Yohandy Morales each recorded two hits to lead the way for the Hurricanes in their loss. On the other side, Cavaliers third baseman Jack Gelof launched two home runs and drove in four runs to help Virginia secure the victory.

The ‘Canes jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning off a Morales double and a single by right fielder Zach Levenson. However, Virginia scored four runs in the fourth, with two coming off Gelof’s first homer of the game, to take the lead.

From that point, the Cavaliers never relinquished the lead, as they added two more runs on another Gelof two-run blast in the fifth. Gelof’s second home run was the 37th of his career, which tied the Virginia program record.

Miami catcher Carlos Perez knocked an RBI single in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-3, but the Cavaliers held on from there, sweeping the ‘Canes in the three-game series.

The Hurricanes outhit Virginia 8-7, but they were not able to capitalize on their scoring opportunities to the degree that the Cavaliers did.

Miami will now begin a three-game series with the No. 13 North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The series begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday.