The ACC baseball tourney is underway and with a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth against third-ranked NC State, sixth-seeded Miami had another collapse, falling 3-2.
Again, another low-scoring affair that proved to be a pitcher’s duel, with UM’s Eric Erickson going against NCSU’s Ethan Ogburn, both of which were dominant for five innings, getting themselves out of tight spots on numerous occasions.
Erickson allowed nine hits and even picked off a runner in the second, but with two outs remaining, pitching wound up doing the Canes in.
Miami entered the bottom of the ninth with Eric Nedeljkovic on the mound and he promptly retired the lead-off hitter. From there, he gave up back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and third.
E.J. Encinosa entered – UM’s fifth pitcher of the day – and walked the first batter he faced, loading the bases. A chopper was hit to third, with first baseman Esteban Tresgallo unable to field the low throw, which scored the tying run.
A batter later, Encinosa walked in the winning run on five pitches.
Miami had picked up some late-game momentum when Dale Carey doubled to left in the top of the sixth, followed by a Chantz Mack home run, giving the Canes a 2-0 lead.
UM had another shot for more in the top of the eight, when Mack walked to start the inning and moved to second after a Brad Feiger bunt, but Mack was later out at home when trying to score on a Rony Rodriguez single.
Another heartbreaker and yet another situation where Miami needed to show some ice in its veins and simply collapsed when the pressure mounted. Sadly, that seems to have been the MO for this team all season.
Next up, a 3:00pm ET showdown with second-seeded North Carolina on Thursday, who Miami swept at home earlier this season.