Late heroics in pouring rain from Ray Gil pushed the seventh ranked Miami Hurricanes to a 7-5 win over the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday afternoon.
USF hit Alex McFarlane very well early. Dontae Mitchell led off the game with a single and Carmine Lane followed with a home run to left-center that gave the Bulls an early 2-0 lead. After that McFarlane continued to struggle, allowing another hit and a walk to give USF runners on the corners. The freshman worked out of the jam to limit the damage though.
In the bottom of the first Miami put up a run in response. A single, walk, and RBI single, all with two outs, made the score 2-1. After McFarlane worked a scoreless top of the second, the Hurricanes tied the game in the bottom of the second. Anthony Vilar hit a lead-off double to start the inning, and two groundouts advanced and then scored him, making the score 2-2 after two innings.
Jake Garland took the mound in the third and worked well. The freshman threw two and two thirds innings striking out two and not allowing a run. Miami took advantage of his solid pitching to take a lead. In the bottom of the fourth a walk and a single put two runners on with two out for Luis Tuero. Tuero, in his first start of the season, hit a bloop single to left that scored both runners and gave him three RBIs on the day. Then, in the fifth, another freshman made an impact, when Jared Thomas hit his first home run as a Hurricane to make the score 5-2.
USF looked to get back in the game in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back singles off of Miami reliever Alex Munroe started the inning, and after Munroe got a groundout to second that advanced the runners he was relieved by Tyler Keysor. The Bulls got a run in the inning of off a sac-fly from Nick Gonzalez that scored Dylan Buck, but Keysor then got out of the inning with a groundout to Anthony Vilar with the lead still intact at 5-3.
The Bulls did get back in the game in the seventh. A walk from Carmine Lane started the inning, and JD Dutka followed with a two-run home run that tied the game at five. Tyler Keysor allowed another baserunner after the home run, but worked out of the inning with the game tied at five.
Miami put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the seventh. However, a groundout from Alex Toral and a flyout to center from Gabe Rivera ended the inning without the Hurricanes adding a run to their total.
Both bullpens worked well over the next few innings. Miami reliever Carson Palmquist was particularly outstanding, with the freshman working two good innings in his second appearance in the orange and green.
That great relief performance gave Miami the chance for the win. In the bottom of the ninth, a single from Adrian Del Castillo put a runner on first, and Ray Gil came to the plate. USF reliever Graham Hoffman hung a pitch in the middle of the plate that Ray Gil hit out of the park, in the pouring rain, for Mark Light Magic and a Miami win.
Winning Pitcher: Carson Palmquist (1-0, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
Losing Pitcher: Graham Hoffman (0-1, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)
(Box Score posted when available)
Vs Towson Tigers Game 1
Date & Time: Friday, February 28, 7:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Brian Van Belle (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Towson Starter: Josh Seils (0-2, 8.31 ERA)
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM
Television: ACC Network Extra