The Miami Hurricanes split a doubleheader with the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes won the first game of the doubleheader 8-2, but the evening game saw a 6-4 victory for Florida State, setting up a dramatic game three that is key for each team as they position themselves ahead of the ACC Tournament and seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Game One: 8-2 Miami
The opening game of the doubleheader and the series began at 2:30 on Saturday after a postponement due to weather on Friday night. Carson Palmquist was excellent in the opening game, working six innings while striking out five and allowing just two runs, neither of which was earned.
The first run Palmquist allowed came in the bottom of the first. Jordan Carrion led the game off with a single, and after reaching second stole third and scored on a throwing error on the play. Miami immediately gave Palmquist run support however. Jacob Burke led off the top of the second with a single, and a Dominic Pitelli single put a second runner on base for the Hurricanes. Ariel Garcia then hit a three-run home run to give the Hurricanes the lead.
Miami added on a run in the top of the fourth inning. Dominic Pitelli doubled with one-out for his second hit as part of a three hit game, and Dorian Gonzalez hit a clutch two-out RBI-single to extend the lead. The sixth inning saw the Hurricanes add another run to the lead. Jacob Burke walked and scored after two singles from Dominic Pitelli and Dorian Gonzalez, but the Hurricanes left two men on base after a strikeout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the inning Florida State scored a run to reduce the lead to three. A walk and a single opened the inning for the Seminoles and gave FSU their best opportunity for a rally since the first inning. Palmquist nearly worked out of the jam without allowing a run, but a throwing error on a lineout allowed the runner to reach third, and a groundout drove home the runner from third for the second unearned run of the game.
However, the top of the seventh inning saw the Hurricanes extend the lead. A CJ Kayfus single opened the inning, and Yohandy Morales followed with a two-run home run to immediately earn the run back for Palmquist and extend the lead. Jacob Burke then created another scoring opportunity with a double, and Zach Levenson, who moved up to fifth in the batting order in the first game on Saturday, drove him in with the second consecutive double in the inning.
After Miami extended the lead to six Gage Ziehl entered the game in relief. Ziehl worked the final three innings of the game, striking out six in the process. With the three scoreless innings of relief, Ziehl earned the first save of his college career.
Winning Pitcher: Carson Palmquist (8-3, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K)
Losing Pitcher: Parker Messick (6-3, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
Save: Gage Ziehl (1)
Game Two: 6-4 FSU
Saturday night’s game didn’t go as well for the Hurricanes. FSU again took the lead in the bottom of the first inning when a balk allowed the first run of the game to score. Afterwards, a four-run fourth inning forced Miami to look for an unlikely comeback.
The FSU rally started with a single from Tyler Martin. After the single, Jordan Carrion hit a two-run home run to left field to score the first two runs of the inning without an out having been recorded. Hurricanes starting pitcher Karson Ligon recovered to get the next two batters out, but issued a two-out walk to Reese Albert. Florida State took advantage of the walk, with Brett Roberts hitting an RBI-double to drive home Albert before former Miami first baseman Alex Toral hit an RBI-single to drive home Roberts. A strikeout ended the inning, but FSU took a 5-0 lead.
Miami got back in the game with a three-run rally in the top of the fifth inning. Dorian Gonzalez walked and reached second on a wild pitch, and a two-out RBI-single from CJ Kayfus scored the first run of the game for the Hurricanes. Kayfus, like Gonzalez, also advanced to second on a wild pitch, before Yohandy Morales struck out but reached first safely after the ball got away from the catcher. Maxwell Romero then hit an RBI-single to score Kayfus, before Jacob Burke hit another RBI-single scoring Morales, but Romero was out at home on the play trying to score to bring the inning to an end.
Florida State responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Reese Albert hit an infield single to open the frame, and Brett Roberts advanced Albert to third with another hit. Alex Toral followed with a sac-fly to earn his second RBI of the night against his former team.
The Hurricanes tried to find a comeback over the next four innings, but could only score one run which came in the top of the seventh inning. Dorian Gonzalez led off the inning with a single, and a hit by pitch and a bunt single loaded the bases for Miami. A passed ball scored Gonzalez, but two strikeouts and a flyout ended the Hurricanes’ best chance for a comeback.
Miami had only one other baserunner in the last four innings outside of the seventh inning, and as a result the Hurricanes couldn’t comeback in the second game of the series. The loss set up a key series finale, with the game being vital for both teams position in terms of the ACC and NCAA Tournament.
Winning Pitcher: Bryce Hubbart (8-1, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K)
Losing Pitcher: Karson Ligon (6-4, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)
Save: Wyatt Crowell (2)