The Miami Hurricanes won the opening game of their second consecutive series against a ranked opponent on Friday night defeating No.13 North Carolina (18-4, 5-2 ACC) 8-5. The Hurricanes (15-6, 5-2 ACC) now need one win over the next two days to earn back-to-back series wins over Top 20 opponents.
Dorian Gonzalez drove in the first run of the game and set the tone for the Hurricanes on Friday night, hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the second that made the score 1-0. Despite UNC entering the series with a 2.07 ERA, the second best team-ERA in the country before Friday night, the Hurricanes offense scored eight runs and had 11 hits in the game.
Miami extended the lead with a two-run bottom of the third inning. Yohandy Morales started the rally with a single before he stole second to give the Hurricanes a runner in scoring position. Maxwell Romero followed Morales with a walk, and then both runners advanced to scoring position on a passed ball. Jacob Burke hit an RBI-single into center field to score the first run of the inning before Dorian Gonzalez hit a one-run single into right field that made the score 3-0.
North Carolina responded with a run in the top of the third. Tomas Frick led off the inning with a double and Mac Horvath followed him with a walk to give UNC two runners on base. A fielder’s choice advanced Frick to third before another fielder’s choice scored the first run of the game for North Carolina.
A three-run bottom of the sixth inning extended the lead for Miami. Zach Levenson singled to lead off the inning and CJ Kayfus put runners on the corners with a one-out single. Yohandy Morales followed with a home run that made the score 6-1 heading into the final three innings.
Miami extended their lead yet again in the bottom of the seventh. Jacob Burke doubled down the left field line to open the inning for Miami before a throwing error scored Burke and allowed Dorian Gonzalez to second base during the next at-bat. Gonzalez reached third on a dropped third strike during the next at-bat, with Dominic Pitelli reaching first base safely on the play. The Hurricanes took advantage of the error, with Zach Levenson hitting an RBI-groundout to score the second run of the inning. However, North Carolina scored a run in the top of the eighth inning to make the score 8-2. A single, walk, and an RBI-single from Mikey Madej scored the run for UNC.
In the top of the ninth inning UNC rallied to try to comeback. Two walks opened the inning, and after two strikeouts, Alberto Osuna hit a three-run home run that made the score 8-5. Miami brought in Andrew Walters after the home run to prevent any further scoring, and Walters struck out the only batter he faced to earn his sixth save of the season.
With the win Miami earned their fourth win against a Top 25 opponent in 2022. The Hurricanes will hope to secure the series victory on Saturday night with Karson Ligon on the mound. First-pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Winning Pitcher: Carson Palmquist (5-1, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)
Losing Pitcher: Brandon Schaeffer (2-1, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K)
Save: Andrew Walters (6)