|Hatters Fall Just Short at Miami|
Coral Gables, Fla. – The Stetson Hatters had five opportunities to put runs on the board with a runner in scoring position and less than two-out on Wednesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park. Twice they pushed a run across, but the three left on the bases were the difference in a 3-2 loss to No. 12 Miami.
The loss for the Hatters (23-13) was the eighth straight to Miami (26-11) in what was the first meeting between the teams since 2007.
Stetson got leadoff doubles from Trey Blackman in both the fifth and seventh inning against Miami starter Javi Salas (4-2). Both times James Rasmussen got down a sacrifice to move the runner to third, but both times he was left stranded there.
“We just needed to make contact,” Hatters coach Pete Dunn said. “I thought we played well, we certainly pitched well and played good defense, but it came down to getting runners where we needed them to be and we got punch outs when we needed contact.”
The Hatters got on the board first in the fourth inning when Robert Crews reached on an error and moved around to score on a single by Mitchel Brennan. Even in that inning, Stetson left a runner at second.
Stetson starter Josh Powers kept that lead until the fifth inning when he gave up a solo homer to Miami’s Jarred Mederos to lead off the inning. Esteban Tresgallo followed with a single, ending the day for Powers, who worked four innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
The second run for Powers came in when Tyler Palmer singled off Jake Boyd, chasing Tresgallo home.
Stetson answered in the sixth, scoring a single run. Ben Carhart delivered a one-out double to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and moved up the third when Mark Jones extended his streak to 10 with a single. Brennan followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. Jones was left stranded at second in that inning.
The Canes wasted no time reclaiming the lead when Stephen Perez greeted Will Dorsey (4-3) with a solo homer to open the sixth inning. The Canes, who had just seven hits in the game, got just one more following the homer.
The Hatters had one last gasp chance to forge at least a tie with Miami when Brennan led off the ninth with a single. He moved into scoring position on a sacrifice fly, but was left there by a strikeout and a fly ball to end the game.
“We certainly had the opportunities, but we have to be more efficient,” Dunn said. “We weren’t efficient at all tonight with runners at third and less than two outs. When you keep a team like that to three runs, I won’t say you should win, but we just didn’t complete the deal.”
The Hatters will look to put this game behind them quickly with a key Atlantic Sun Conference series against Lipscomb set to start on Friday at Melching Field.
“We have to learn from this game because we can’t let this happen this weekend,” Dunn said. “As bad as it hurts to lose this game like that, Friday night’s game is the most important game of the year. If we get in this same situation we have to cash them in.”