The Miami Hurricanes earned one of their biggest wins of the season on the road Thursday night. Miami defeated the Louisville Cardinals 6-1 to move to 30-17 (18-15 ACC) on the season. The win was key for the Hurricanes in many ways, with this weekend, the final of the regular season, set to have massive implications for seeding at the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.
Miami starter Alejandro Rosario was excellent to open the series. The freshman worked 4.2 innings of one run baseball and struck out four Cardinals to give the Hurricanes offense time to find a rhythm.
Rosario ran into trouble just once, in the second inning. Louisville’s first hit of the game led off the inning and forced Rosario to try to work out of the early jam. Two quick outs, a groundout and a flyout, got the freshman one pitch away from working out of the inning, but moved the runner to third. Unfortunately for Rosario, a wild pitch scored the run and gave Louisville an early 1-0 lead.
The Hurricanes tied up the game in the top of the fourth. Christian Del Castillo hit a one-out double to give Miami the chance to tie the game. Alex Toral came through for the Hurricanes with an RBI-single that tied the game. A single and a walk followed to load the bases for Miami, but a lineout ended the inning before the Hurricanes could take the lead.
Miami took the lead in the top of the seventh. Ray Gil led off the inning with a clutch homerun that flew 431 feet and came off of his bat at 106 miles per hour. Jordan Lala followed Gil’s home run with a triple, and then he stole home to make the score 3-1 when a pitch got away while Miami had a squeeze play on.
Ray Gil hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot that scored Yohandy Morales, to extend the lead to 5-1 in favor of the Hurricanes in the eighth inning. Miami added further insurance when Anthony Vilar hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth that made the score 6-1.
Hurricanes closer Carson Palmquist worked the last two innings to finish a wonderful performance from Miami’s bullpen and seal the win for the Hurricanes. Miami’s bullpen has shown a lot of improvement over the last couple of weeks, and they combined for another 4.1 scoreless innings to help earn the win Thursday night.
The win was absolutely crucial for Miami heading into the last two games of the regular season. The Hurricanes are now 18-15 in ACC play, and with a Pittsburgh loss earlier Thursday, sit second in the ACC’s Coastal Division. Georgia Tech lost to UNC just after the Hurricanes’ victory, which put Miami a half game back of GT, who is 19-15 in ACC play, heading into the last two games of the season. The last two days of the season could completely change the order of seeding at the ACC Tournament in Charlotte next weekend and will be one of the biggest two-game stretches to end a season for Miami in recent memory.
Winning Pitcher: Spencer Bodanza (2-0, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)
Losing Pitcher: Evan Webster (1-1, 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)
(Box Score posted when available)
@ Louisville Game 2
Date & Time: Friday, May 21, 6:00 p.m.
Hurricanes Starter: Jake Smith (3-0, 3.44 ERA)
Louisville Starter: Jared Poland (0-0, 2.57 ERA)
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM
Television: ACC Network