Miami Hurricanes ousted from regional after late-game implosion


Miami, Florida – Alejandro Rosario’s efforts and Yohandy Morales’ heroics were not enough as the Miami Hurricanes were ousted from their own regional. The Canes imploded in the ninth, losing 4-3 to the Arizona Wildcats in the elimination game. Coupled with their earlier loss to Ole Miss their season has come to a gut-wrenching end. Rosario dueled Dawson Netz tossing over five innings to put up one of his best outings.

Pipo, who struggled all year with an ERA well above 7.00, held the Wildcats to a run striking out six. Once more Yoyo became Miami’s sparkplug smashing his fourth homer of the tournament to give UM the tentative lead. Unable to score additional insurance runs, Arizona slowly chipped away at the deficit. Down to their last out, the Cats survived due to a critical throwing error by Dominic Pitelli. Tanner O’Tremba bested Andrew Walters with the decisive two-run double to ultimately seal it.

The Cardiac Canes tried to work some late-game magic but Renzo Gonzalez grounded out with the tying run 90 feet away.

Coming up short

The opposing teams traded homers in the early stages. Leadoff man CJ Kayfus hammered one to right field in the first. The Wildcats responded via a bomb of their own in the third courtesy of Mac Bingham towards the left.

Miami’s hitting abruptly fell silent after the Kayfus dinger. The Hurricanes wouldn’t hit again until the sixth.

With a powerful swing of his bat, Yoyo shipped Anthony Susac’s pitch into the darkness beyond over the left-field fence. The towering two-run shot was a critical boost to the team’s morale shifting the momentum in UM’s favor.

Gage Ziehl held off the Wildcats through nearly three innings in relief fanning five with his only blemish being Tony Bullard going deep on a full count in the eighth. That same inning, a costly base running mistake was made by the Canes when Gonzalez, pinch-running for Maxwell Romero Jr., was sent towards home on a soft, routine grounder to short. He was easily thrown out at the plate.

Pitelli almost doubled up Arizona with a drive towards center-field with two on but Bingham made the running catch at the warning track ending the frame.

Walters was brought on to close out the game. However, things went awry after striking out the first two batters. Nik McClaughry hit a very hard grounder towards Pitelli who managed to nab it botching the ensuing throw. The ball sailed way over Kayfus’ head. McClaughry then advanced on a wild pitch. Walters subsequently hit Daniel Susac on a 1-2 count putting the go-ahead run aboard. O’Tremba pounced with a two-bagger to right-center driving in his teammates to complete the comeback.

Final Thoughts

It was a stunning end to the Hurricanes’ season. In less than 12 hours, Miami’s dreams for Omaha were dashed. Many are quick to pin the blame on the coaching although there’s plenty to go around. The Canes lost two very close, hard-fought games where any misstep could prove costly. And they did. The one that hurt the most was Pitelli’s errant throw. Man oh, man. That was supposed to be the final out. Walters faltering was tough to watch too. Fans wondered what if. As previously mentioned in the podcast, good teams make other squads pay for their mistakes. It was painfully true here.

Leaving the stadium I walked past the Arizona contingent watching friends and family hugging and congratulating their team. It felt surreal. It wasn’t The U setting up the rematch with the Rebels, it was them.  Despite the disappointing end to the 2022 campaign, it was a great season overall. Most of the team is likely returning, a year older and wiser. The faithful don’t want to hear it right now but the future is bright.  I must say it was an absolute pleasure covering Miami’s exciting, though brief, playoff run. Hopefully, the first of many regionals to come. As the saying goes, wait until next year.

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