CORAL GABLES, Fla. — What had been another tight pitchers’ duel turned into controversy at the very end as the 17th-ranked Miami Hurricanes (4-5) scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on the second of two balks in the inning to defeat the visiting Dartmouth Big Green (3-2) by a final of 3-2.

Romy Gonzalez led off the frame for Miami by poking a single through the right side against two-time All-Ivy League First Team reliever Patrick Peterson, making his season debut. A nubber back to the mound for the first out allowed Gonzalez to advance to second, and that is when the game traveled down a strange path.

Before ever throwing a pitch to Christopher Barr, Peterson whirled around and threw a pickoff toss to second base, only to have the second-base umpire rule he had balked, sending the winning run to third base. Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen emerged from the dugout to refute the call to no avail, then directed Peterson to intentionally walk Barr.

With runners on the corners and one out, the right-handed Peterson (0-1) turned to throw toward first, awkwardly throwing in the vicinity of the base as he realized the fielder wasn’t stationed on the bag. Miami head coach Jim Morris then made his way toward home plate to inquire about a balk on the play, leading the four-man umpiring crew to confer with each other.

Following a long discussion, the umpires made their decision and laid out the details for Whalen, who gradually became more animated in his disbelief. Once again his protests did not sway the crew, and Gonzalez trotted home with the winning run.

The walk-off balk made a winner out of Miami reliever Frankie Bartow (1-0), who retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. He was the third Hurricane hurler of the evening, following southpaw starter Jeb Bargfeldt, who allowed two runs on six hits over six stanzas while striking out eight, and Albert Maury Jr., who twirled two shutout innings.

Neither team could dent the scoreboard in the first three innings with each side turning a double play. But the fourth inning proved to be quite eventful as senior Michael Ketchmark and junior Kyle Holbrook launched back-to-back solo home runs for the Big Green on consecutive pitches. Ketchmark’s blast went right into the teeth of a strong wind in left-center, yet still cleared the fence, while Holbrook yanked his out to right.

In the bottom half, Miami designated hitter Johnny Ruiz led off with a ground-rule double to left off of sophomore starter Cole O'Connor. It appeared he would avoid any damage when center fielder Trevor Johnson gunned down Ruiz at third base by 10 feet trying to tag up on a fly ball for a double play. But Gonzalez started a rally with a two-out single, followed by a walk and a hit batter to load the bases. Randy Batista came through for the Hurricanes with a two-run single for Miami’s first runs against Dartmouth pitching in the series. When Hunter Tackett also single, left fielder Matt Feinstein preserved the 2-2 tie by throwing out the runner trying to score from second.

The Hurricanes turned the tables in the top of the fifth after Dartmouth put runners on the corners with one out when Johnson walked and Feinstein singled him to third. Junior Dustin Shirley sent a shallow fly to right, and Johnson decided to test the arm of Michael Burns, who was up to the task as he nailed Johnson at the plate to end the inning.

The only runner to advance past first until the bottom of the ninth was Burns in the eighth when he singled with one out and moved up on a ball that was deflected by reliever Marc Bachman to Shirley at second, who threw to first for the second out. Peterson came on at that point and got the third out on a grounder to third.

Gonzalez was the offensive star for Miami with two of the team’s eight hits and scoring two of the three runs, while Batista had two RBIs.

Holbrook had half of the Big Green’s hits on the night by going 3-for-4 with his first home run of the year. Feinstein’s fifth-inning single made him the only player on the roster to hit safely in each of the first five games this season.

The two teams will play the rubber game of the series on Sunday at noon, streamed live on ACC Network Extra. Dartmouth will send senior right-hander Michael Danielak (1-0, 0.00) to the mound, and Miami will counter with lefty Michael Mediavilla (0-2, 7.36).

Notes: Peterson suffered the first loss of his career, having entered the season 7-0 with 10 saves to his credit … freshman left-hander Michael Parsons tossed three perfect innings in relief of O’Connor … Dartmouth won the opener of the series on Friday, 1-0, as Beau Sulser and Chris Burkholder combined on a two-hit shutout … the Big Green are 2-4 all-time against Miami.