DeVoss, Miami finish furious rally
Hurricanes dig out of five-run hole, largest comeback this year
DURHAM, N.C. – The name Zeke DeVoss will be known around the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament this weekend. He picked up the University of Miami when things looked bleak on Thursday, helping stage the biggest rally of the year for the Hurricanes. Fifth seed Miami took down No. 4 seed North Carolina, 7-5, in the first game of day two action at the ACC Tournament.
Miami (35-20) trailed by five runs, and had only clawed back from a four-run deficit once this year – versus Illinois State, taking a 5-4 win in extra innings in Coral Gables earlier this season. However, on Thursday, all that changed, and one thing that hurt UM all year came in the best of places – timely hits from Harold Martinez.
Trailing 5-0 heading into the sixth inning, Hurricanes starting pitcher Bryan Radziewski seemed to tire, and the hitting was coming in spurts – just not when needed. But all that changed with one swing of the bat to spark Miami with Martinez’s single in the top of the sixth.
The Hurricanes finally got to North Carolina (44-13) starting pitcher Greg Holt when his 118th pitch was taken to shallow center by freshman Dale Carey for a two-out RBI single that scored Martinez from second, cutting the UNC lead to 5-1.
UNC reliever Tate Parrish faced UM pinch hitter Cade Kreuter, eventually walking him on five pitches – setting the table for another reliever, Andrew Smith. DeVoss, who already had two of the Canes’ six hits in the game, came to the plate with the bases loaded and two away. Appropriately, it was the player that started the game with an extra-base hit that delivered the timely double once again, scoring three runs to pull UM within, 5-4. DeVoss was called out at third trying to leg-out a triple after sliding past the bag.
But for the Hurricanes, the damage was done – and it was the sophomore “leader” of the team that came up big once again.
In the next inning, the Hurricanes offense picked right back up where it left off in the sixth.
With the bases became loaded again for the Hurricanes and two outs, Stephen Perez delivered a two-run scoring single through the left side after falling behind 0-2 in the count to pitcher R.C. Orlan, scoring Martinez and Brad Fieger on the play for the go-ahead runs.
That completed the largest comeback of the season, putting Miami up 6-5.
In the ninth inning, Miami delivered the knockout blow when freshman catcher Corey Janson registered his first RBI of the year with a RBI single through the left side – a point of emphasis on the day for the Hurricanes – adding to the lead, 7-5, as Perez crossed safely.
In the final three innings, UM relievers Sam Robinson and Daniel Miranda shut down the Tar Heels hitting from top to bottom – allowing just a single hit – with Miranda recording his team-high 13th save of the year.
UNC registered its fourth run of the game in the fifth inning, using an error by Rony Rodriguez in left field. The error on Rodriguez advanced UNC first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki home for the 4-0 lead in favor of the Tar Heels. North Carolina added another run in the frame to stake a 5-0 lead when Holt drove a Radziewski pitch to left center, pushing across Stallings for the score.
North Carolina struck first in the opening frame, using a Colin Moran double to center that brought in Levi Michael from first. With the bases full, Ben Bunting delivered a two-out RBI single to right that plated Moran for the 2-0 UNC advantage.
Bryan Radziewski struggled in his last game against North Carolina back in April, and this time was no different. The Miami native issued a bases-loaded walk to Holt, putting the homestanding Tar Heels up, 3-0, early-on.
Miami threatened in the top of the fifth with runners on the corners – following DeVoss’ single, stolen base and advance to third on an error. A walk issued by Holt to Melendres brought Rodriguez to the plate, but he flied out to deep left for the third and final out of the frame.
Radziewski failed to register into the decision for the second time against the Tar Heels, this time allowing five earned runs on eight hits, walking six and striking out five batters in just five innings tossed. The win went to freshman reliever AJ Salcines who grabbed his first decision of the year, tossing an inning and issuing a walk and claiming two strikeouts.