Coral Gables, FL - The No. 21 University of Miami Hurricanes began their NCAA Tournament campaign at Alex Rodriguez Park in disappointing fashion on Friday night, dropping their opening postseason contest with No. 25 Stony Brook by a final score of 10-2.
Miami, which played impressive defense throughout their run to the championship game at the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., struggled behind veteran southpaw Eric Erickson early. The Hurricanes (36-22) fell behind 2-0 in only the second inning, as fourth-seeded Stony Brook plated two unearned runs thanks to two Miami errors in the frame.
After Maxx Tissenbaum opened up the inning with a double, rightfielder Tanner Nivins laid down a clean sacrifice bunt that looked like it would advance the junior to third base. Erickson, who had no chance to catch Tissenbaum, fired to first base for the sure out. But the ball would sail past the glove of Peter O'Brien, as Tissenbaum rounded third and opened the game's scoring in Stony Brook's favor.
Seawolves' designated hitter Kevin Krause laid down another bunt on the very next pitch, but Erickson's throw once again made its way past O'Brien, this time into rightfield. Nivins would plate from his perch at second, increasing the Stony Brook lead to 2-0.
Sophomore third baseman Brad Fieger would get the Hurricanes back in the game in a hurry. After sophomore centerfielder Dale Carey worked a full-count walk to lead off the fourth, Fieger belted his fifth homerun of the year, a two-run shot crushed into the net in left-center, to tie the game later in the inning. The homerun was only the second longball allowed by Stony Brook starter Tyler Johnson (10-1) in 82.1 innings this season.
Some uncharacteristic control issues from Erickson put Miami in danger once again in the top of the fifth. The Sarasota, Fla. native, who plunked his second batter of the game to open the frame, then issued a single to Travis Jankowski to put two runners on base. Though Erickson almost escaped unscathed after recording back-to-back outs, a flare off the bat of Tissenbaum over the head of second baseman Stephen Perez plated both Jankowski and Kevin Courtney, giving Stony Brook a 4-2 advantage.
The Hurricanes could not strike for much off Johnson after Fieger's homerun. Impressive team defense from the Seawolves, including a gorgeous diving stop from Tissenbaum to help end the sixth inning, kept Miami off the scoreboard. Stony Brook would tack on two more runs in the top half of the seventh, as William Carmona delivered a knockout blow with a three-run homerun in the eighth to increase the lead to 9-2..
The Hurricanes will return to Alex Rodriguez Park for a 2 p.m. match-up with third-seeded Missouri State on Saturday afternoon in game three of the Coral Gables Regional. The Seawolves will face off against second-seeded UCF in game four, with that contest set for a 7 p.m start.