The No. 6 national seed Miami Hurricanes pounded the ball for much of the 2022 season, scoring runs as if they were on a too-amazing-to-believe clearance sale.
But those hits and runs dried up when they were most needed — and so did the Hurricanes’ season.
Usual stellar closer Matt Walters gave up a two-out, 2-RBI double to Tanner O’Tremba in the ninth inning to lift the Arizona Wildcats to a 4-3 victory late Sunday and end Miami’s season.
“Disappointing,’’ an obviously dejected UM coach Gino DiMare said softly. “Always disappointing when your season is over.”
The Canes, who ended the season 40-20, began the day with a 2-1 loss to Ole Miss. They had a season-low four hits against the Wildcats, two of them home runs by Yohandy Morales and CJ Kayfus (on the first pitch of the game).
They also had four hits against Ole Miss.
Arizona finished with nine hits and scored three of their four runs in the last two innings.
Sunday was the only game this season UM lost when leading after eight innings.
Here’s how the ninth inning unfolded:
Walters, who had 14 saves entering the game, came in for freshman reliever Gage Ziehl to begin the inning. He struck out Blake Paugh and Mac Bingham before his trouble began. Nik McClaughry singled deep to shortstop, then went to second on a wild pitch. The fourth batter, Dan Susac, was hit near the forearm by a high, wild pitch, and Tyler Casagrande was brought in to pinch-run for Susac.
O’Tremba then smacked his game-winning double.
UM began the bottom of the ninth with a single by pinch-hitter Ariel Garcia, who who went to second on a wild pitch.
Kayfus flew out deep to center, and Garcia tagged up and went to third base. But pinch-hitter Gaby Gutierrez struck out. Morales was, as expected, intentionally walked before Renzo Gonzalex grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
Trevor Long (6-3) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the win.
Walters was hit with his first loss of 2022.
UM starter Alejandro Rosario allowed one earned run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Arizona (39-24) will meet No. 3 regional seed Ole Miss (34-22) at 1 p.m. Monday in a game that will either give the Rebels the regional title or force a winner-take-all finale between the same teams. Should the Wildcats win that first game, the championship game would begin 55 minutes later.
This story was originally published June 5, 2022 11:57 PM.