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Baseball collapses in eighth, loses to Miami 9-5

No. 2 seed Miami scored seven runs in the eighth inning en route to a 9-5 victory over seventh-seeded Virginia in Wednesday’s ACC tournament pool opener.

The Hurricanes (43-13, 22-8 ACC) sent 10 batters to the plate in the decisive seven-run eighth — the most runs surrendered in a single inning by the Cavaliers (34-20, 15-15 ACC) this season. After sophomore starter Connor Jones retired the leadoff man, seven consecutive Miami batters reached base. Junior David Thompson’s two-run single against sophomore Alec Bettinger gave the Hurricanes their first lead since the fifth inning, and two batters later, senior Garrett Kennedy blasted a three-run home run to pad Miami’s advantage.

Jones finished with four runs, two earned, in 7.1 innings of work. The right-hander struck out seven, issued two walks and surrendered four hits.

Bettinger took his fourth loss of the season to even his record. He was charged with four runs, three earned, on two hits and a walk while only recording one out.

Trailing 2-0, Virginia utilized the long ball to score three runs in the top of the sixth. Freshman Adam Haseley reached on an error and sophomore Daniel Pinero singled to lead off the frame. With one out, senior Kenny Towns pulled a ball over the wall in left-center for a three-run homer. The round-tripper was Towns’ third career ACC tournament home run.

The Cavaliers scored twice more in the eighth. Junior Joe McCarthy doubled home sophomore Matt Thaiss and freshman Pavin Smith with two outs in the inning.

Virginia takes Thursday off before facing No. 3 seed Notre Dame at 11 a.m. Friday. The Fighting Irish (35-19, 17-13 ACC) play their first tournament game Thursday against sixth-seeded NC State.