MIAMI, Fla. -- It is probably going to the largest crowd the University of Miami sees all season (approx. 10,000) – and they didn’t disappoint with a tough performance in a 7-6 loss to the Miami Marlins at the new, but still under construction, Marlins Park in downtown Miami, the former site of our beloved Orange Bowl.
Alex Fernandez and Peter O'Brien talk after Hanley Ramirez blasted a two-run home run.
Following a three-game sweep at the hands of the No. 1 Florida Gators in Coral Gables this past weekend, the ‘Canes needed some kind of confidence boost. They may have gotten that with the way they played the Marlins Tuesday night.
But as they did against the Gators on Sunday afternoon, it got away late as the ‘Canes blew a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the ninth. Eric Nedeljovic started the ninth and it quickly got away from him. Back-to-back walks gave the Marlins runners on first and second, while an RBI single from Nick Yelich tied the game at 6-6. A single through the right side from Terry Tiffee sealed the game and the win for the Marlins.
But coach Jim Morris was happy with the performance of his team.
“It was a great night for our players and I think for the Marlins to get to play the first game in the stadium, it’s a beautiful stadium, the first thing it does, you got a weather issue, you just close the dome and play, and it was perfect, that was something needed in this park. For us as a team, it was fun to play. We very close to winning the game. There is a fine line between winning and losing,” Morris said. “I thought we’d win it in the ninth inning to be honest with you.”
Freshman lefthander Andrew Suarez pitched three scoreless innings for the ‘Canes while facing the Marlins Mark Buehrle.
“It was exciting playing against the Marlins. It was always a childhood dream. I just went in there and threw strike and trusted the pitches he was giving me. I trusted my stuff,” Suarez said.
The ‘Canes jumped out on top of the Marlins with a three-spot in the third for a 3-0 lead on three straight singles by Julian Santos, Jarred Mederos and Tyler Palmer. Dale Carey then ripped a double down the third-base line off Buehrle for a bases clearing hit.
The Marlins but quickly gave it right back and them some with a four-run fourth for the Marlins that started off with a two-run blast to right field by Hanley Ramirez.
The Marlins then added two more in the inning taking a 4-3 lead at the end of four, but the ‘Canes struck back for one tying it at four in the top of the fifth. The tie was short lived as the Marlins came right back in the bottom half of the inning plating two for a 5-4 lead.
However, the ‘Canes refused to go away. The ‘Canes loaded the bases with one out, but a strike out by Jarred Mederos, Tyler Palmer made the Marlins pay as he singled to left with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the sixth giving the ‘Canes the lead back at 6-5 as two crossed home plate.
Javi Salas, AJ Salcines and Alex San Juan combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk over that span.
The Hurricanes return to action with a midweek tilt against Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday. First pitch for the team's matchup with the RedHawks is scheduled for 6 p.m.