The Miami Hurricanes earned their biggest win so far in the 2022 season on Friday night. The Hurricanes (24-6, 11-2 ACC) defeated No.3 Virginia 6-2 to win the opening game of a Top-10 matchup. Miami hit three home runs in the game, despite entering the week ranked 13th in the ACC in the category.
UVA got out to an early lead on the road in the top of the second inning. A walk, error, and fielder’s choice gave Virginia two runners in scoring position. A single and an RBI-groundout scored two runs and gave UVA a 2-0 lead.
After the two runs scored in the top of the second Carson Palmquist and the entire Miami pitching staff settled in. Palmquist eventually worked six innings and struck out eight batters. The only runs the Miami starter allowed were the two unearned runs in the top of the second inning.
Miami’s bullpen was excellent on Friday night as well. Alex McFarlane and Rafe Schlesinger combined for a scoreless seventh inning. Gage Ziehl and Andrew Walters followed with two 1-2-3 innings to finish the game for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes responded immediately after allowing Virginia to score in the second inning, with Maxwell Romero hitting a solo home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the frame over the right field fence.
Miami took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. CJ Kayfus singled to put a runner on base with Yohandy Morales at the plate, and the third baseman hit a two-run home run 430 feet to right-center to give the Hurricanes the lead. Morales continues to show why he could potentially be a first-round pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
Gaby Gutierrez hit his first career home run as a Hurricane in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the lead for Miami, and in the bottom of the sixth another two runs scored to make the score 6-2. Yohandy Morales and Maxwell Romero started the rally with back-to-back singles. Jacob Burke then followed with an RBI-double down the left-field line to score the first run of the inning before another run scored when Zach Levenson grounded into a double play.
With the 6-2 win Miami now has a two game lead in the ACC’s Coastal Division and the best conference record overall. The Hurricanes allowed just two hits against a Virginia team that has arguably the best offense in the country so far this season. Before tonight, UVA had the second-best record in the country behind only No.1 Tennessee, and Miami needs just one more win this weekend to to be the first team to win a series against the Cavaliers this season.
First pitch of the second game of the series is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Karson Ligon, who leads the ACC in ERA so far this season, is set to start for the Hurricanes with the opportunity for the series win.
Winning Pitcher: Carson Palmquist (6-1, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K)
Losing Pitcher: Nate Savino (4-2, 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)