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April 22, 2012Stay connected to the Canes. Sign-up for CaneSport.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone and register with CaneSport on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! Don't miss the all-new digital CANESPORT MAGAZINE - - covering every game inside and out.
The No. 12 Miami Hurricanes closed out their series with in-state rival No. 2 Florida State in disappointing fashion on Sunday, dropping the finale 8-7 in extra innings.
Powered by a seven-run inning where the Hurricanes sent 13 batters to the plate, Miami surged to its first lead of the weekend at a time when the team needed it most. Junior infielder Michael Broad connected on his fourth career grand slam off reliever Hunter Scantling in the offensive outburst, guiding the Hurricanes to an eventual 7-4 lead.
Unfortunately for the Hurricanes (26-14, 12-9 ACC), the Seminoles would strike for four runs in the last five innings, including a walk-off single by Sherman Johnson with one out in the ninth off closer E.J. Encinosa (2-3) that clinched the win and the series sweep for Florida State.
Despite collecting only three runs combined through the first two games of the series, the Canes shook off an early 4-0 deficit with a collection of big hits and an effective stretch from junior southpaw Steven Ewing.
After Stephen Perez singled his way on base with a perfect bunt to begin the fourth inning, Seminoles starter Scott Sitz issued a walk to Chantz Mack and back-to-back RBI singles to Rony Rodriguez and Dale Carey before being pulled by Head Coach Mike Martin. Hunter Scantling entered the game in relief and promptly issued another walk, this one to Brad Fieger, before Michael Broad stepped to the plate with the bases loaded.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native, who hit a grand slam earlier this season in a win over Florida Atlantic, belted his second homerun of the year over the left field wall for the Hurricanes' first lead of the weekend at 6-4. Two more walks and an RBI double from Tyler Palmer would extend the lead to 7-4 by the end of a productive fourth frame.
Despite the offensive barrage, it looked like history would be repeating itself when the Seminoles (33-7, 19-2 ACC) plated four runs to open the game. But Ewing would settle down after his rough first frame, retiring 12 of the next 13 batters over the next four innings. He would exit the game after 6.1 innings of work with the game tied 7-7, finishing with seven strikeouts on 114 pitches.
AJ Salcines pitched effectively in relief, allowing only one hit and one walk through 2.2 innings. But the Seminoles struck for two hits off Encinosa, who entered the game in the tenth looking to extend an already lengthy game even deeper into extra innings. After Gio Alfonzo connected for his first career hit and later stole second base, Johnson plated Alonfzo for the gamewinner with a single through the right side.
The Hurricanes return to action on Tuesday night with a home tilt against Florida Atlantic at Alex Rodriguez Park. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.