Wacky Play Hands Canes First Loss, 5-4

The Miami Hurricanes made eight errors over two games but it was one mental error that ended up costing them game three of their four game series against Rutgers.

"It's just very disappointing the way we played," Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said. "We made a lot of mistakes."

Brandon Boykin, who was 0-for-30 for his career, led off with a single up the middle for his first career hit off of Miami reliever Rene Guerra. The single was important but it was what he did next that may stick out in the minds of Miami fans for years to come.

Michael Lang sacrificed Boykin to second but the sophomore infielder alertly took third base as well when no one was covering.

And Boykin did not stop there.

With Yasmani Grandal in front of the plate trying to set up the defense for the next hitter, Boykin broke for home and was able to score as no one was there to cover the plate. Time was never called and the young Scarlet Knight caught the Canes napping and put his team ahead for good 5-4.

"I've never seen that play in my life," Grandal said. "We weren't mentally prepared for that. Some guys missed where ever they had to go. It's better for it to happen now than later on in the season."

Rutgers did not waste any time getting things going against the host Hurricanes in the night cap of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday night. The Scarlet Knights were able to bring right fielder Michael Lang home on a single by cleanup hitter Jaren Matthews to give them an early 1-0 lead.

The Canes struck right back in the bottom of the first when third baseman Chris Herrmann tied the game at one with a sacrifice fly to center field that drove home Nathan Melendres.

Youst's troubles continued in the second inning as Rutgers centerfielder Jarred Jimenez hit the first pitch well over the left field fence for a home run. The homer put the Scarlet Knights ahead 2-1.

Things did not get any easier for Miami's young starter as his defense committed three errors in the top of the third inning and Rutgers extended their lead to two, 3-1.

The Canes clawed back to pick up a run in the bottom of the third as Dave DiNatale singled home Ryan Jackson to cut the Scarlet Knights lead to one, 3-2.

Youst's Hurricane debut ended earlier than he would have liked as freshman lefty Danny Miranda entered in relief to open the fourth inning. Youst was hit hard and finished the night allowing three runs on three hits over three innings however only one run was earned.

In the bottom of the fifth, Miami had success against the Rutgers bullpen. Right-hander Sean Peterson entered in relief of starter Charlie Law. The tall right-hander went four innings and allowed two runs on three hits and struck out four Hurricanes.

Peterson, the son of former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, gave up the typing run when designated hitter Iden Nazario singled to the right side to drive home Harold Martinez.

Miranda dazzled in his first two innings as a Hurricane. The southpaw from Miami Killian High School struck out three Scarlet Knights in two shut out innings before getting into some trouble in the top of the sixth.

Rutgers took the lead 4-3 on a sacrifice fly deep to center field by Jarred Jimenez. This was the only time the Scarlet Knights were able to do any damage to Miranda but it proved to be the right time as it put the pressure on the Hurricanes to come from behind for the second time in one day.

And that's exactly what they did. Catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a home run that just got over the right field fence to tie the game at four. It was his second home run in as many days and this time the sophomore catcher gave his team new life.

The new life was short lived as Brandon Boykin almost single handed beat Miami with his seventh inning play. The sophomore's alert base running put Rutgers three outs away from securing their first victory of the season.

"I don't know how you could practice for that play other than just making sure you're in the right positions," DiNatale said. "It was something idiotic that happened and it's something that's never going to happen here at Miami. I can guarantee you that."

Tony Wargo was able to keep the Canes from scoring in the final inning but it wasn't without some adventure.

Dave DiNatale opened the inning with a long double to left field that was inches from tying the game up. Iden Nazario walked to put the go-ahead run on base with no outs. Coach Morris sent up Ryan Perry to try and sacrifice the runners over but he was unable to as Wargo threw out DiNatale at third.

Rutgers nearly ended the game on the next batter as Jonathan Weislow hit a grounder to short. The Knights retired Perry at second but Weislow was able to beat the throw to first and give the Canes one last breath.

Freshman Nathan Melendres worked a walk to load the bases for Scott Lawson who had been a thorn in Rutgers' side all weekend long.

However, Wargo got the best of Lawson this time getting him to pop out to third and picking up his first victory of the season.

"It was going back and forth the whole game," DiNatale said. "We played really sloppy. To be in that position to win the game I thought was great for our team the way we played. We're a lot better team than that. Hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone and learn form our mistakes and come out tomorrow and put some runs up."

The two teams will be back in action tomorrow afternoon in the final game of this four game series. Rutgers will send junior Kyle Bradley to the mound while Miami will start sophomore Iden Nazario. The first pitch is as 1:00 PM.


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