CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Stetson baseball team (15-19) lost its third straight non-conference contest on Wednesday, falling to Miami (22-14) on the road by a score of 8-2 at Alex Rodriguez Park.
The Hatters opened the game with three straight singles to load the bases with no outs. A pair of infield hits by freshman Kevin Fagan and sophomore Tyler Bocock was followed by a rip through the right side by freshman Patrick Mazeika. Miami then got sophomore Garrett Russini to ground into a double play, but the first run of the game was able to cross the plate for Stetson.
After retiring the first six batters he faced, Stetson freshman Adam Schaly ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. The Hurricanes led the frame off with a pair of singles to put men on first and second with no outs. Schaly got the next two Canes to strike out on a bunt attempt and pop up to third, but a double down the left field line and a single up the middle put Miami up 3-1 after three.
Miami got right back at it in the fourth, scoring two runs on a pair of hits and a back-to-back walks. Michael Broad led off the frame with a single through the infield, and then stole second base. A long fly out to left field advanced the runner to third, and Schaly was relieved by freshman Josh Thorne. Another fly out scored the first run of the inning for the Canes, while the two walks and a subsequent single to center by Chris Barr put Miami up 5-1.
As the Hurricane offense was putting up runs, starting pitcher Javi Salas was dealing. After giving up the one run on three hits in the first, the right-hander retired 11 straight batters before freshman Carlos Garmendia singled to right-center in the top of the fifth inning.
Although senior Joe Dye came on to pitch two perfect frames, aside from a Hatter fielding error, Stetson couldn’t gain any momentum because Salas continued to get the best of the Hatters at the plate. The junior went on to retire another nine straight, which meant 20-of-21, before senior Mitchel Brennan roped a double to the gap in right-center in the eighth inning.
The Canes added four runs in the seventh and eighth innings, before Stetson attempted one last comeback. Bocock singled through the infield in an effort to ignite the rally. Mazeika, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the first inning, recorded his second hit of the day on a single to center. Russini then reached on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error while trying to complete a double play allowed Bocock to score.
Another fielder’s choice ended the game, giving Miami the 8-2 victory, and earning Salas the first complete game of his career. He allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, on seven hits, four strikeouts, and no walks in the victory.
Six Stetson pitchers were unable to hold down the Hurricane batters. Schaly fell to 0-2 on the season after allowing four runs on five hits, two strikeouts, and no walks in a 3.1 inning start. Dye was the most successful Hatter on the mound, pitching two shutout innings of relief on no hits, one strikeout, and no walks.
“I can handle losses when you go out and give a good effort,” Stetson head coach Pete Dunn said. “But to come down here and play as poorly on defense as we did, and once again put guys out on the mound and they don’t throw strikes, it’s beyond disappointing. I wish I had an answer. We’re not competing. It comes down to competing. If you get beat and you’re not competing, like the way we came out tonight, we had no chance.”
Stetson will now travel up to Spartanburg to prepare for a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference at USC Upstate this weekend. Game One between the Hatters and the Spartans is set for Friday night at 6:00 p.m.