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Miami avoids sweep, routs North Carolina 8-1 on road

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Miami relied on multi-run bursts in the second and seventh innings to secure a win in the series finale.

Miami left fielder Jordan Lala makes a leaping catch in front of the wall in left field at Boshamer Park on April 25, 2021 (Chapel Hill, N.C.).
Credit: Miami Athletics

Hurricanes right-handed starter Jake Garland (5-1) took the mound in Chapel Hill, North Carolina looking to guide his team away from being swept on Sunday.

The team had fallen to 9-8 in road contests this season after two failed comeback attempts in Friday’s doubleheader, yet Miami would come out firing in the early innings at Boshamer Stadium.

Garland allowed seven hits though held the Tar Heels to one earned run through six innings, lowering his ERA to 3.94.

Freshman shortstop Dominic Pitelli, on the other hand, took care of the offense registering a career-high four RBI in the nine-hole, as Miami (22-13, 14-12 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeated North Carolina (20-17, 14-13 ACC) 8-1.

A two-out RBI single was allowed to North Carolina shortstop Danny Serretti in the bottom of the first inning, though that would give the Tar Heels their only lead of the afternoon, 1-0.

Miami immediately struck back in the top of the second with a four-run burst, as first baseman Alex Toral hit an RBI single to center field to score third baseman Raymond Gil and catcher Adrian Del Castillo. Pitelli’s two-run blast then reeled in Toral to boost the Canes’ advantage to 4-1.

Catcher Carlos Perez pinch hit for right fielder Gabe Rivera in the seventh, doubling to right-center field to score Del Castillo and center fielder Christian Del Castillo. The freshman had only been hitting .190 prior to the series, and logged his second RBI of the season.

Leadoff hitter in left fielder Jordan Lala, despite having hit a total 2-for-8 in Friday’s doubleheader, opened the floodgates with a 4-for-6 offensive performance having not struck out. The sophomore singled to right field and stole second base in the sixth inning, yet was left stranded after third baseman Yohandy Morales flied out to center field.

Pitelli was not finished, however, lifting Miami to a 7-1 lead after knocking a two-out double down the left field line. His second hit on the afternoon capped off a three-run seventh-inning rally.

The Miami native also hit a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the ninth to score Christian Del Castillo once more.

Closer Carson Palmquist filled in for reliever Daniel Federman, who struck out one batter and also walked one through one-and-one-thirds of an inning, in the seventh. With a 1.27 ERA, Palmquist allowed no runs on no hits, striking out two and walking none.

Though they had left 11 runners aboard, the Canes amassed 14 hits — the most of the three-game series — while registering five two-out RBI in route to Miami head coach Gino DiMare’s 75th victory at UM.

After having its midweek matchup postponed last Wednesday, Miami will take on Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Mark Light Field.