Canes Drop Series To Rutgers

The University of Miami (11-11) dropped its second consecutive home series with an 9-5 loss to Rutgers (8-4) in front of 1,207 fans Sunday afternoon at Mark Light Stadium.

The last time Miami lost consecutive three-game series at Mark Light Stadium was in 1988 when the Hurricanes dropped series against Michigan State and Florida State.

Miami will return to action this Wednesday, March 20 as the Hurricanes host Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Mark Light Stadium. The student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM, will carry the radio broadcast. The radio broadcast can also be heard on the Internet at

In the game, Kevin Howard and Danny Matienzo each extended career-long hit streaks of 17 and 16 games, respectively.

RU starter Tom Wheeler (3-0) went 7.0 innings for the victory with nine hits, five earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts, one wild pitch, one balk, three hit batters in 131 pitches. The three hit batters by Wheeler set a new opponent record against the Hurricanes. RU reliever Ryan Molchan earned his fifth save of the season.

UM starter Dan Touchet (1-1) scored the loss. Touchet went 4.0 innings with nine hits, six earned runs, three walks, three strikeouts and one wild pitch in 74 pitches.

He was on the mound when Rutgers rallied for the lead with its five run fifth inning. Miami had a 5-1 lead before the Scarlet Knights surged ahead.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring, 3-0, in the first inning as eight batters came to the plate on Wheeler. Javy Rodriguez and Brad Safchik each recorded ground ball singles to left field. Both runners moved over on Matienzo's sacrifice bunt. The first run scored, Rodriguez, on Howard's line drive to single to centerfield, also moving Safchik to third on the play. After Howard stole second, Safchik scored on Dryer's sacrifice fly out to right field with Howard going to third. Kevin Mannix hit a line drive to left field single to left field to score Howard.

Miami added a run in the second, 4-0, on Safchik's sacrifice RBI fly out to centerfield, scoring Paco Figueroa from third. Figueroa led off the inning getting hit by a Wheeler pitch, moved to second on a balk and then to third on Rodriguez' ground out.

Rutgers got on the scoreboard, 4-1, in the third inning when Val Majewski knocked in Lee Moskowitz from third with a single to centerfield. Moskowitz led off the inning with a single to centerfield, moved to second on a walk to Ryan Lillis and then to third on Touchet wild pitch.

The Hurricanes extended the lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning. With one out, Safchik drew a walk and stole second. He then scored on Matienzo's grounder up the middle.

Rutgers rallied in the fifth inning, 6-5, to take the lead scoring five times as nine batters came to the plate. Graig Badger and Lillis each hit singles to right field. The bases were loaded on a walk to Majewski. Jeff Frazier drove in the first run, Badger, with a single to centerfield. Safchik made a fielding error on the play and allowed Lillis to come around and score. Steve Normane tied the score, 5-5, with a two-RBI double down the left field line to score Majewski and Frazier. Touchet was then removed for reliever Vince Bongiovanni. Nick Cerulo followed with a RBI single to left field to score Normane, and moved to second on the play.

Rutgers added to its lead, 7-5, with a run in the sixth inning as Badger scored from third off a fielding error by Rodriguez on a Frazier grounder. Badger led off with a single up the middle, moved to second on a throwing error off a failed pick off attempt by Bongiovanni and then to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lillis.

Rutgers added another run, 8-5, in the eighth inning as Badger scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Majewski. Badger led off with a walk and moved all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lillis.

The Scarlet Knights added another run in the ninth for the eventual 9-5 decision.

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