Mid-week woes continue as Miami drops game to Bethune-Cookman, 6-4

The Hurricanes watch from the dugout at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2024. Photo credit: Jason Hill

Coming into this game, the Hurricanes held an awful mid-week record of 4-4 and was looking to get over .500 against a less than impressive Bethune-Cookman (19-17) squad. Tuesday night, the ’Canes only gave up four hits, but surrendered fifteen free passes leading the Wildcats to an upset 6-4 victory at Mark Light Field.

Only giving up four hits and losing a game is a tough feat to accomplish, and the only way to do so is by allowing tons of walks and hit by pitches; exactly what the UM pitching staff did.

Ashton Crowther was the most inaccurate of the Miami pitchers as he allowed seven walks and two hit batters in just 3.2 innings pitched.

He was cruising up until the fourth inning when the wheels began to fall off. With two outs and two runners on in the inning, Crowther gave up a walk, two hit by pitches and a walk to bring in three runs without the Wildcats having to swing the bat.

Ben Chestnutt was brought on to replace Crowther who immediately hit his first batter brining in another run giving Bethune-Cookman a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning.

Not only was the pitching struggling for Miami, but the hitting was debatably worse on Tuesday night. The Hurricanes only reached base eight times with no player logging a multi-hit game.

Bethune-Cookman pitcher, Colby Lipovsky, dominated the ’Canes lineup for six innings only giving up one run on four hits putting the Wildcats in a great position to win.

In the seventh inning, the Miami offense finally mustered a big threat for the first time all game thanks to poor defense from Bethune-Cookman.

Dorian Gonzalez Jr. led off the inning and reached on an errorwith Lorenzo Carrier following him with a walk. Jack Scanlon came up big with a double scorched into right center field that scored Gonzalez Jr. and sent Carrier to third who would eventually score on a back pick attempt by the Wildcat catcher that soared into left field bringing UM within a run.

All that occurred with no outs, but Gaby Gutierrez, Antonio Jimenez and JD Urso recorded three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.

Miami was able to scratch another run across in the bottom of the eighth with some great baserunning by Jacoby Long and an RBI single from Gonzalez Jr. tying the game at four heading into the ninth.

After Chestnutt and Brian Walters pitched phenomenally in the middle innings combining for 4.1 innings and no runs, UM brought on Nick Robert to try and send the game to the bottom half of the ninth tied up.

Robert came in the game and hit the first batter he faced and the yells of angry Hurricane fans filled the stadium as they did not want a repeat of earlier in the game. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened as later in the inning with the bases loaded, Robert walked in two more runs to give Bethune-Cookman a 6-4 lead.

Miami would not even threaten in the ninth, and the Wildcats would go on to win 6-4 without recording a single RBI off of a base hit. Every single run that scored came off of a walk or a hit by pitch as Miami essentially gift wrapped the game and handed it away.

In need of a desperate bounce back weekend in ACC play coming off of back-to-back sweeps, the ’Canes will face Louisville (21-15, 7-8 ACC) in hopes of turning things around before it is too late.

Ace Gage Ziehl will be on the mound Friday night at Mark Light Field with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.