Miami Hurricanes Baseball entered this week No. 8 in the D1 rankings and on an 8-0 run including last weekends series sweep over the Duke Blue Devils in Durham. Up last Tuesday were the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (20-8). The Eagles are the nations sixth highest scoring team averaging nearly ten runs a game.
Jordan Dubberly got the start and went four innings for the win.
FGC opened the scoring in the first with an unearned run. The Canes responded immediately with two in the bottom of the first and added another in the third going up 3-1.
The Eagles cut the deficit in the fourth with a solo shot but that’s all they got as Miami pitching held them to three hits and two runs, both their worst outputs this season. Dubberly (2-0)
retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced. Five relievers each pitched a hitless inning retiring 15 of the last 16 Eagles in the 5-2 win.
Miami (22-6) now had nine wins on the trot.
Wednesday brought FIU and Miami dominated with a 17-1 rout. The Canes were up 9-0 after two and 15-0 after four.
Jake Garland (5-1) was the starter and went eight strong innings for the win. Edgardo Villegas homered in both the first and second frames. Reigning ACC Player of the Week Dominic Pitelli also went deep in the second and CJ Kayfus hit a three run bomb in the fourth.
The weekend brought the No.3 Virginia Cavaliers (26-3, 9-3) (or Wahoos or Hoos as their baseball squad is known) to Coral Gables. Virginia came in leading the nation in scoring average (11.0 runs per game), runs (318) , batting average (.336) and on-base percentage (.443). The Hoos were also the only team in the country to be top 10 in batting average (1st), earned run average (4th-2.84) and fielding percentage (9th-.982). Their cleanup hitter, 3B Jake Gelof arrived as the NCAA leader in HR (14), RBI (53) and slugging %(1.058). A daunting task awaited the Hurricanes.
Nate Savino (4-1) and Miami’s Carson Palmquist (5-1) were the Friday night starters. Virginia took a 2-0 lead on two unearned runs in the top of the second. Catcher Max Romero Jr. took the fist pitch of the bottom of the frame over the right field wall making it 2-1 after two.
3B YoYo Morales said that SS Dom Pitelli kept bugging him to try a new bat and he finally relented and started using it in Friday’s game. In the bottom of the third YoYo hit a 430 foot two run bomb for a 3-2 lead the Canes never surrendered.
Freshman RF Gaby Gutierrez hit his career first HR in the fifth padding the lead to 4-2.
The Canes added two insurance runs in the sixth for the 6-2 final score.
Palmquist was a master allowing only two hits and striking out eight over six innings.
Alex McFarlane, Rafe Schlesinger, Gage Ziehl and Andrew Walters held the Wahoos hitless the rest of the way.
Saturday night’s starters were Brian Gursky (5-0) for the visitors and Freshman RHP Karson Ligon (4-1) for the home side.
Miami went up 2-0 in the third on a two fun blast from CF Jacob Burke. Virginia came right back. Ligon had retired the first nine batters before consecutive singles by Griff O’Ferrall and Kyle Teel were followed by walks to both Devin Ortiz and Gelof put Virginia within one.
Alex Tappen was next and he drove in three with a double and the Hoos were up 4-2. Ligon stood strong and got Chris Newell to hit it back to the box then struck out Casey Saucke swinging.
Newell singled to open the ninth then Walters got both Sauke and Anderson on swinging strikeouts. Max Cotier singled, then Walters hit O’Ferrall and it was two outs and bases loaded.
Teel smashed a line drive up the middle that deflected off Walters who scrambled to the ball and made an off balanced toss towards first. Kayfus went off the bag to grab the errant throw then dove and got his glove on the bag an instant before the runner.
Miami had a 5-4 win and Walters his 10th save.
Sunday came and Miami, with the series in hand, was hungry for the sweep.
Virginia started 6’10” LHP Jake Berry (4-0). Miami went with RHP Alejandro Rosario (1-1). Virginia (26-6,9-6 ACC) again took the lead in the series finale going up 3-0 after 2 1/2.
Miami (26-6,13-2 ACC) was not to be denied and scored 11 unanswered runs with five in the third and six in the fourth taking an 11-3 lead into the middle innings.
Villegas got Miami started with a three run homer in the third and the Canes finished the frame up 5-3.
With one out and no one on in the fourth, eight Canes consecutively reached base. It went like this, BB, BB, 1B, BB, BB, 1B, HBP, BB. Eight at bats, two singles and six runs. It ended 15-5.
The Canes now had won 13 in a row and the Hurricanes had swept a top 10 team for the first time since 2012 when they took three in a row from the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2012.
College Baseball polls are released on Mondays. The D1 , Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls all agreed, the Miami Hurricanes are now the nations No. 2 team behind only the 31-1 Tennessee Volunteers.
Next up are a Tuesday April 12 home contest against Florida Atlantic (21-12) before a trip to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hoakies (20-8,7-6 ACC) Thursday, Friday and Saturday April 14-16.
Congratulations and good luck to all of Miami Hurricanes Baseball Nation!