Notre Dame turns momentum, evens series with Miami
Matthew DeFranks | Sunday, April 20, 2014
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — With one play, the Irish turned their luck around.
Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, No. 11 Miami put runners at second and third with one out and senior second baseman Alex Hernandez up. Hernandez slapped a sharp grounder to third, where junior Phil Mosey fielded and hesitated before firing home to cut down the lead runner.
“Off the bat, I actually had the luxury of hearing their third base coach yell ‘Go, go, go,’ so I just focused on fielding the ball, it hit glove-side and I thought my quickest way to get there would be to spin and throw home,” Mosey said.
The play preserved a 1-0 lead and sparked Notre Dame (16-22, 4-16 ACC) to a series-evening 7-4 win over Miami (27-13, 15-5) on Sunday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
“If I airmail that throw or if the ball gets through, momentum’s really on their side, so I think that was a good shift right there,” Mosey said.
The win was Notre Dame’s first-ever ACC road victory and snapped Miami’s nation-leading 14-game winning streak. Miami’s loss also snapped its program-record 10-game conference winning streak.
“I think, at this point, any ACC win for us this year has been especially gratifying,” Irish coach Mik Aoki said. “Tonight was really nice because I thought it was a team win. … I think there were a lot of people who had their hand in this tonight.”
Mosey was 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI while junior center fielder Mac Hudgins went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Five different Irish players had an RBI.
“It gives us a little bit of hope, considering we’ve had so many late-inning road losses in the ACC at big-time places,” Mosey said. “It’s nice to get one.”
The Irish stretched their lead from 1-0 to 6-0 with a five-run fifth inning. After Mosey flew out to center, Notre Dame loaded the bases for junior first baseman Blaise Lezynski. Lezynski, Notre Dame’s leading hitter, lined a single to center that plated junior right fielder Robert Youngdahl.
Hudgins scored on a sacrifice fly by junior left fielder Ryan Bull, junior Kevin DeFilippis pinch hit for sophomore designated hitter Ricky Sanchez. DeFilippis smashed a triple down the left field line to clear the bases and then scored on freshman second baseman Cavan Biggio’s infield single.
“Kevin DeFilippis with that big double that scored those runs was a turning point in the game right there,” Aoki said.
Notre Dame scored in the top of the second when Mosey shot a rocket to third base that Hurricanes redshirt freshman Edgar Michelangeli could not handle. The ball trickled into left field and Biggio, who singled, raced home.
The Irish are now 14-8 when they score first and 2-14 when opponents draw first blood.
Notre Dame added an insurance run in the seventh on Biggio’s bases loaded sacrifice fly to make it 7-1.
The Hurricanes pushed a run across in the sixth and three in the seventh off Irish relievers but could never bring the tying run to the plate. Miami outhit the Irish, 14-10, but stranded 12 runners, including seven in scoring position.
Hurricanes three-hitter Willie Abreu had a man on base during each of his five at-bats but went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
Irish sophomore left-hander Michael Hearne (3-4) earned the win by tossing five shutout innings, yielding seven hits and striking out two. Hearne was the eighth straight Irish starter to allow two or fewer earned runs.
Notre Dame senior right-hander Donnie Hissa earned the three-run save, his first of the year, with a 16-pitch ninth-inning.
Miami redshirt sophomore left-hander Andrew Suarez (4-2) took the loss for Miami, lasting five innings and surrendering six runs on eight hits.
Senior left fielder Tyler Palmer went 3-for-4 and freshman catcher Zack Collins was 4-for-5 for Miami.
Notre Dame will look to win its first ACC road series Monday evening when they send junior right-hander Pat Connaughton (1-2, 5.11 ERA) to the mound. Miami will ask senior left-hander Bryan Radziewski (3-2, 3.69 ERA) to win its fourth consecutive series victory.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.