The Miami baseball team continued a disturbing trend that has haunted them throughout the 2019 season. The Hurricanes blew an early 4-0 lead in a 6-5 loss to Central Michigan in their NCAA Tournament opener in Starkville, Mississippi.
One of the unfortunate themes throughout the Gino DiMare’s debut season in 2019 has been the Miami baseball team’s inability to hold on to big leads. In Friday’s night’s NCAA Tournament opener the Hurricanes scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead on two home runs.
All of Miami’s five runs on the night came via home runs. Gabe Rivera got the Hurricanes on the board first with a solo home run. Four batters later freshman sensation Adrian DelCastillo hit a three-run home run deep to right field to give Miami a commanding 4-0 lead.
Central Michigan chipped away got on the board with a single run in the fifth inning. A three-run double down the left field line by first baseman Evan Kratt gave the Chippewas their first lead at 5-4. Del Castillo brought Miami back even with his second home run of the night in the seventh inning.
Miami was on the brink of getting to the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie game. A two-out single up the middle by Central Michigan right fielder David Cole plated centerfielder Zach Gilles. The Hurricanes loss came a week after blowing a 5-0 lead in an ACC Tournament loss to North Carolina.
IT’S GAMEDAY! pic.twitter.com/zKbXq1qNeO
— Canes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) June 1, 2019
The Hurricanes have a quick turnaround with a 1 PM eastern time first pitch on Saturday against Southern University in the consolation bracket. The Jaguars, from Baton Rouge, lost 11-6 Friday afternoon to regional host Mississippi State. The Bulldogs combined for five runs in the seventh and eighth for the win.
The loss to Central Michigan gives Miami no margin for error. The Hurricanes have to win out in the double-elimination regional to advance to the super regionals next weekend. Miami has lost three straight NCAA Tournament games dating to the 2016 College World Series.
Evan McKendry gets the start for Miami on Saturday over Brian VanBelle. Eli McKinney will start for Southern. Miami enters Saturday’s elimination game 39-19, Southern is 32-23.