Top-ranked Virginia scores two in the ninth to defeat Miami (Fla.) 5-3
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Nick Howard hit the go-ahead two-run single with one out in the ninth inning to propel Virginia to a 5-3 triumph at Miami (Fla.) on Monday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park. The Cavaliers (19-4, 7-2 ACC) claimed the series, two games to one, and have won all six of their weekend series this season.
In rallying from 3-0 deficit, Virginia also earned its fifth consecutive series win against the Hurricanes (13-12, 5-4).
Howard, the reigning ACC Player of the Week drove in three runs in the game and also recorded the save as he set the Hurricanes down in order in the ninth inning for his sixth save of the year. Howard had four hits and drove in five runs in the series.
Connor Jones pitched a scoreless eighth inning as he earned the win for the second consecutive day, improving to 3-0 on the year. Miami closer Bryan Garcia (2-2) took the loss after allowing the two ninth-inning runs.
Both starting pitcher were solid. Virginia starter Brandon Waddell worked six innings, giving up three earned runs, six hits and an intentional walk. He struck out one. Miami's Bryan Radziewski did not allow a hit in the first four innings and had just one bad inning as he went seven frames, allowing three runs, four hits and six walks while fanning seven.
Daniel Pinero went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead a seven-hit night for Virginia.
Miami took a 3-0 lead in the third inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Willie Abreu blooped a low liner the opposite way into left field, where a hard-charging Mike Papi dove and could not come up with the ball. Three runs scored as the ball rolled past Papi, with Abreu hustling into third for a triple.
After going hitless for four innings against Radziewski, Virginia broke through for four hits in the fifth innings while scoring three runs to tie the game. Robbie Coman hit a ground-rule double to lead off, and the next three Cavaliers singled, with Branden Cogswell and Pinero each knocking in runs. Papi hit a fly ball to center which moved Cogswell to third, and Howard beat out a potential double-play ball to allow Cogswell to cross the plate with the tying score.
Virginia took a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth. With one out Cogswell walked and Pinero blooped a ball down the right-field line which landed just inside the chalk, sending Cogswell to third. Papi was intentionally walked to load the bases. Howard then lined a single back up the middle, bringing Cogswell and Pinero home for UVa's first lead of the day.