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Gonzalez Lifts Miami Baseball to 5-4 Victory

Richard Lewis/UM Athletics

Story Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Freshman Romy Gonzalez connected on a go-ahead single in the sixth inning, and fourth-ranked Miami held on to beat visiting Bethune-Cookman 5-4Wednesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light field.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning, but saw the lead slip away when Bethune-Cookman scored single runs in the second, third and sixth.

Miami (17-4) regained the late lead thanks to the clutch hit from Gonzalez on a full-count offering from Bethune-Cookman starter Donte Lindsay.

“It was another good win for us. A lot of guys contributed to make it happen,” head coach Jim Morris said. “I thought Bethune-Cookman played well against us. Their pitcher threw well…after that [first] inning, he settled down.”

The basehit – a two-out, two-run single up the middle past the diving glove of second baseman Jameel Edney – chased Lindsay (2-2), who had retired 15 of 18 batters after allowing three early runs.

“I just trying to put the ball in play,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to hit the ball up the middle – there was a nice gap, and I put a good swing on the ball.”

Gonzalez, who had not made a start since March 9, said he has not been discouraged by his lack of recent playing time.

“I was working hard on the days I didn’t play, just believing in myself and waiting for the opportunity to contribute,” Gonzalez said.

The Wildcats (9-13) got a run back in the seventh on the team-leading seventh home run from Michael Cruz off redshirt freshman Keven Pimentel, cutting Miami’s lead to 5-4.

But freshman Frankie Bartow pitched a scoreless eighth and junior Bryan Garcia locked down his ACC-leading eighth save of the season to preserve the victory.

“I just try to win games,” Garcia said about securing the 33rd save of his career. “It doesn’t matter [about the save record]. I know I’m going to be pitching a lot of ninth innings in close games, but more importantly, we’re winning those games.”

Sophomore starter Jesse Lepore allowed two earned runs in 4.0 innings before being relieved by Pimentel.

Lepore, who had picked up wins in three straight outings, struggled with his command, needing 83 pitches to get through four innings.

Pimentel (2-0) allowed two runs on four hits in 3.0 innings of relief. He struck out two batters with no walks.

Miami took advantage of some early Bethune-Cookman miscues for an early lead. The Wildcats committed two errors in the first inning, including one on a dropped fly ball in left field that scored a run.

Junior Zack Collins reached base for the 16th straight game with an RBI single in the first, while junior Jacob Heyward added an RBI groundout.