The Miami Hurricanes won 4-3 against the Duke Blue Devils Saturday to win their fourth consecutive conference series and earn their 20th win of the season. The Hurricanes (20-6, 9-2 ACC) are first in the ACC’s Coastal Division after the first eleven games of conference play in 2022.
Miami’s success on Saturday started on the mound. Karson Ligon started the game on Saturday afternoon, and the ACC leader in ERA heading into the weekend had another strong outing. The freshman worked six scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.45, and struck out five batters on the way to his fourth win of the season.
The Hurricanes took the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Jacob Burke singled and stole second to bring Dominic Pitelli to the plate. Pitelli, who hit a game-winning grand slam in Friday’s game, hit an RBI-double to score Burke and give Miami a 1-0 lead. Pitelli has taken a huge step forward this season after working on his swing in the offseason, and the results have continued to improve for Miami’s shortstop, as the RBI was his fifth of the weekend so far.
The top of the Miami order extended the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Yohandy Morales started the scoring in the inning with a home run to center field, and Jacob Burke followed later in the inning with a home run to left field that left the ballpark completely.
In the top of the seventh another run for the Hurricanes extended the lead. Dorian Gonzalez walked to lead off the inning and stole second to advance to scoring position. CJ Kayfus took advantage of the run-scoring opportunity, hitting an RBI-single to left field to score Gonzalez and give the Hurricanes a 4-0 lead.
The late innings saw Duke try to put together a comeback. Their first run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh inning when Chad Knight hit an RBI-groundout. Duke added another two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-run home run from Alex Mooney that made it a 4-3 game heading to the ninth inning.
Immediately after the home run Andrew Walters entered the game for Miami. Walters allowed a double to the second batter he faced before retiring the last four hitters of the game to earn his eighth save of the season, the ACC’s most so far in 2022.
The Hurricanes now have an opportunity for their second consecutive sweep of an ACC opponent on Sunday afternoon. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. with Alejandro Rosario on the mound for the Hurricanes.
Winning Pitcher: Karson Ligon (4-1, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K)
Losing Pitcher: Luke Fox (1-4, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
Save: Andrew Walters (8)