CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Duke led 7-0 heading to the bottom of the seventh but was unable to hold off Miami down the stretch and the Hurricanes won, 9-7, on Jonny Ruiz’ three-run walkoff homer in the ninth Saturday evening at Mark Light Field.
Miami (14-16, 6-7 ACC) had one hit through the first six innings but scored four in the bottom of the seventh before plating five in the ninth. The Hurricanes loaded the bases with two outs before a Randy Bautista two-run double and the Ruiz long ball sealed the victory.
“I don’t know I’ve ever been part of a game where you’re one out away with a three-run lead, a runner at first, with a two-strike count on four straight hitters and can’t make the pitch to finish it,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “I’ve never been a part of a game like that. It’s frustrating. I’m disappointed for our guys. I’m disappointed for Mitch Stallings who threw a terrific ballgame. We’ve got to do a good job of scrapping ourselves off the mat and getting ready to play tomorrow.”
Junior Mitch Stallings threw seven innings and exited with a 7-4 lead in the no decision. Stallings allowed just one single the first six frames and retired 11 straight batters until Miami’s four-run seventh. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
Sophomore right fielder Griffin Conine launched his team-leading eighth home run of the season in the fourth to instigate Duke’s six-run frame. Conine finished the day 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. Junior Michael Smiciklas went 2-for-3 to extend his current hit streak to 14 games. Ranked seventh nationally in doubles, the Blue Devils drilled four in Saturday’s contest as Smiciklas, Zack Kone, Jack Labosky, and Max Miller each roped one.
Duke (16-16, 5-8 ACC) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, sending 10 to the plate. Kone’s leadoff double began the rally, proceeding Conine’s long ball to right center. A pair of walks sandwiched a Smiciklas single to then load the bases. A hit batter, wild pitch and sacrifice fly tacked on three runs before Jimmy Herron’s RBI single completed the stanza’s damage.
The lead remained at six until the seventh. Conine and Smiciklas both picked up their second hits of the game as Conine singled and scored on Smiciklas’ RBI double to left center.
Stallings had not allowed a run in 15 straight innings prior to a bottom of the seventh tally. Miami got on the board following Carl Chester’s one-out double coupled with a Duke throwing error on Romy Gonzalez’s infield single. Christopher Barr cleared the bases with a double down the right field line to trim the margin, 7-4.
Miami’s Albert Maury Jr. (2-0) threw two hitless innings to pick up the win, while junior Jack Labosky (1-2) allowed Miami’s final two hits in the loss.
Duke and Miami return at action at 2 p.m., Sunday April 9 on ACC Network Extra.