The Miami Hurricanes used an offensive outburst to get past the Southern Jaguars in an elimination game Saturday. A four run first and eight run fifth allowed Miami to rest its’ key players, and most importantly, the pitching staff.
The ‘Canes got off to a quick start in the first, with a two-out four run rally. A single and a walk from Freddy Zamora and Adrian Del Castillo set up a Ray Gil RBI single. JP Gates followed with an RBI single of his own, and then Alex Toral doubled to left to score two and give the Hurricanes their second early 4-0 lead in the last two days.
Evan McKendry dealt a beautiful four innings before the Miami offense blew open the game in the top of the fifth. The frame started with a walk, a double, and another walk to load the bases with nobody out. After JP Gates struck out Alex Toral came to the plate and drove a single to right center to score two for Miami. Another walk loaded the bases again, and this time the RBI hit came from Gabe Rivera, as he drove a three-RBI double down the left field line. He advanced and then scored on two wild pitches, and then Anthony Vilar knocked a single with Jordan Lala on base for Miami’s 12th and final run of the game.
With Miami firmly in control Gino DiMare removed Evan McKendry from the game. McKendry threw just 37 pitches, and his outing could be treated like a bullpen session, which would allow him to pitch another game this weekend. The game he would be available for would almost certainly be a winner take all game on Monday if the Hurricanes were to make it that far.
Additionally, Miami didn’t have to use either Daniel Federman or Greg Veliz this afternoon. That’s crucial for the ‘Canes, especially because Sunday could see Miami forced to play two games.
Now, the Hurricanes will play the loser of the Central Michigan vs Mississippi State game tonight in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon. The winner of that game would advance to the regional final on Sunday night. If the ‘Canes did advance to the regional final, they’d have to beat their opponent twice to advance.
Winning Pitcher: Evan McKendry (7-2, 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
Losing Pitcher: Eli Finney (6-3, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 4 K)
(Box score posted when available)
Elimination Game vs CMU/MSU loser
Date & Time: Sunday, June 2, time TBD
Hurricanes Starter: Not announced
CMU/MSU Starter: Not announced
Radio: 790 The Ticket
Television: ESPN 3