Miami spoils Dartmouth’s opener
- Updated: February 25, 2023
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Trailing 9-4 in the ninth, Dartmouth rallied for three runs and put the tying runs on base with one out, but 22nd-ranked Miami (5-1) was able to escape further damage and hold off the Big Green (0-1) on Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Field at Mark Light Stadium for a 9-7 victory. Junior Tyler Cox had three hits to lead Dartmouth’s 11-hit attack while classmate Nathan Cmeyla had a career-high four RBIs.
The Big Green strung together three consecutive singles with one out in the ninth courtesy of junior Tyler Robinson, Cox and sophomore Elliot Krewson to plate one run. The Hurricanes summoned their All-American closer, Brian Walters, to shut the door, but after Cmeyla fell behind in the count 0-2, Cmeyla yanked an offering inside the third-base bag for a two-run double. And when senior Kolton Freeman reached on an infield hit, Dartmouth brought the go-ahead run to the plate. But Walters settled down and struck out the next two hitters to earn his first save of the season.
The game began well for the Big Green as Dartmouth struck first in the second inning on a pair of singles by junior Max Zajec and senior Peter O’Toole before Robinson lined a third base hit to center with two down, sending Zajec sliding across the plate. Miami starter Gage Ziehl then walked Cox and Krewson on a total of nine pitches, forcing O’Toole home. When Cmeyla managed to dribble a seeing-eye single that was knocked down by the second baseman in shallow right, both Robinson and Cox were able to race home to give the Big Green a 4-0 lead.
Fifth-year senior southpaw Trystan Sarcone kept the Hurricanes off the board for the first three innings, but Carlos Perez touched him for a two-out, three-run homer to left-center in the fourth, closing the gap to a run.
Meanwhile, Ziehl settled down after his troubles in the second, retiring the final 10 batters he faced to finish five innings with a career-high nine strikeouts. And in the bottom of the fifth, Sarcone — who led the Ivy League in fewest walks issued per nine innings last year — walked two consecutive hitters with one out before C.J. Kayfus cranked another three-run blast for a 6-4 Miami lead, ending Sarcone’s evening and putting Ziehl in line to earn the victory.
The Hurricanes tacked on what turned out to be three important runs in the seventh against the Big Green bullpen after loading the bases on a hit batter and a pair of walks. Zach Levenson brought home the first run with a base hit and Blake Cyr followed with a two-run single. Sophomore Danny Will avoided further damage by retiring the next three hitters, two on strikes.
Three Miami relievers each put a zero on the board in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Dartmouth nearly came all the way back in the ninth.
Ziehl (1-1) earned his first win as a starter in the Miami rotation, allowing four runs, all earned, on five hits over five frames, walking two to go with his nine punchouts.
Suffering the loss was Sarcone, who yielded six earned runs on five hits and two walks over 4.1 innings while fanning four.
Dartmouth and Miami will continue their three-game series on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.
NOTES: Dartmouth is now 3-5 all-time against the Hurricanes … this was the Big Green’s first game against a ranked opponent since taking two of three in series against both Miami and UCF in 2017 … Cox extended his streak of reaching base safely to 32 games dating back to last season, the longest such streak by a Dartmouth player in 25 years … Freeman upped his own streak to 20 straight contests as well.
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