Wednesday marked another first in Miami’s J.D. Arteaga era — one UM wanted to avoid

The excitement of last weekend’s start of the J.D. Arteaga era was tempered Wednesday night by the reality of another milestone for the Miami Hurricanes’ first-year coach: a loss.

The UCF Knights, who also have a new coach in Rich Wallace and new conference in the Big 12 (from their previous American Athletic Conference), mounted a 3-run fourth inning to take the lead they held until the end for a 4-3 victory and 2-0 record.

The Canes (3-1), with seven hits, had runners on first and third in the ninth before Daniel Cuvet hit into a double play to end the game.

“It’s going to be a season of a lot of firsts, right?” Arteaga said. “First victory on Friday night and first loss tonight. I don’t think anyone expected to go 56-0. So, no surprise. It was going to happen at some point. We played hard to the very end.

“...There was no panic in the dugout. We were one hit away from tying it there, taking the lead and some more Mark Light magic.”

UM’s right-handed, fifth-year senior starter Ben Chestnutt (7-0, 5.71 ERA in 2023) got the first loss of his Miami career by allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. He was replaced by Myles Caba with two outs and runners on first and second in the fourth. Caba’s first pitch was wild, scoring designated hitter Andrew Sundean (infield single) to make it 3-2.

Caba then walked pinch-hitter Matt Cedarburg to load the bases. Matt Prevesk singled down the left-field line to score two for the 4-3 UCF lead.

UM loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth but stranded all three runners when Lucas Costello lined out to center against reliever Najer Victor.

“I thought we came out with a lot of energy,’’ said Canes infielder Dorian Gonzalez Jr. “The first three innings we were on cruise control. We put together good at-bats, made some good plays in the field and then we kind of got flat a little bit. We went away from our game plan and things sped up on us.

“It’s something to learn from.’’

Right-handed senior Kyle Kramer, who replaced UCF starter Cade Boxrucker in the third, went one inning for the victory. Chase Centala got the save.

Miami opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning on RBI-singles by Gonzalez Jr. and Carlos Perez.

The Knights, also with seven hits, answered with one in the third on a single to center by AJ Nessler, double by Prevesk and sacrifice fly by Andrew Brait.

Miami extended its lead to 3-1 with a third-inning leadoff single by Cuvet and double by Lorenzo Carrier.

UM used four pitchers, including freshman Jordan Vargas, who made his collegiate debut by allowing only one hit and one walk in four innings. He struck out three.

Arteaga said he liked the way Vargas “attacked the strike zone.”

“He’s a ground-ball guy and historically I’m a fan of ground-ball guys,’’ the coach said. “You’re always one pitch away from getting out of a jam. To come out the first time in his career, a 1-run game, and keep us there... Because of him we had a chance to win that ballgame.

“Anytime someone gets their first opportunity and responds the way he did, that’s always a great sign moving forward.’’

Added Gonzalez: “We have a great group of guys and we have trust that everything is going to be fine. It’s one loss.’’

UM next meets Long Island University at 7 p.m. Friday for the first game of a three-game weekend series.