The Miami Hurricanes did what they needed to do on Saturday, defeating Notre Dame 16-7 to win their final game of the season. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes it wasn’t quite enough to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. Virginia Tech defeated Duke 7-2 on Saturday to win the division and secure the No.1 seed in Charlotte at the ACC Tournament next week.
Miami will be the No.3 seed at the ACC Tournament. The Atlantic Division winner, Louisville, will be the No.2 seed. The Hurricanes pool will include the No.6 seed and No.10 seed at the tournament. The Hurricanes finish the 2022 regular season with a record of 39-16 (20-10 ACC), their best record since 2016.
The Hurricanes got off to a quick start on Saturday, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. CJ Kayfus opened the game with a single, and Maxwell Romero immediately drove him in with a two-run home run, the first of a season-high six home runs for the Hurricanes. Jacob Burke walked after the home run, and Zach Levenson followed Romero’s lead and hit the second two-run home run of the inning to extend the lead to four. A two-out single from Gaby Gutierrez extended the inning, and after he reached second on a throwing error he scored on an RBI-single from Dominic Pitelli. After Pitelli’s single, Ariel Garcia hit the third two-run home run of the inning to finish a truly incredible rally.
In the bottom of the third inning Miami added to the lead with yet another home run. Zach Levenson opened the inning with a single, and Gaby Gutierrez followed with his third home run of the weekend to make the lead 9-0. Notre Dame responded in the top of the fourth inning. A single and a walk put two runners on base for Jack Brannigan, and he hit his second home run of the series to reduce Miami’s lead to six.
Back-to-back home runs provided an immediate response for Miami in the bottom of the fourth inning. Maxwell Romero was first with Miami’s fifth home run of the day and his second, and Jacob Burke followed with his 12th of the season. In the top of the fifth inning Notre Dame made it four straight half-innings where a run scored when a wild pitch and a Brooks Coetzee RBI-single scored two runs.
There were no more runs scored until the bottom of the seventh inning. A Miami rally started when Zach Levenson was hit by a pitch, Dorian Gonzalez singled, and Gaby Gutierrez walked to load the bases. Dominic Pitelli worked a bases loaded walk to score the first run of the inning, and CJ Kayfus hit an RBI-single to add a run and keep the bases loaded. Back-to-back wild pitches scored two runs, before Yohandy Morales hit a sac-fly to score the 16th and final run of the afternoon for the Hurricanes.
A solo home run in the eighth and ninth inning scored the final two runs of the game for Notre Dame, but Alejandro Torres recorded the final out and Miami earned their 20th conference win of the season. Miami’s 20 wins are the most in the ACC despite the Hurricanes not winning their division due to rainouts during Virginia Tech’s season.
Saturday’s win most likely reestablishes Miami as a Top 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament ahead of the ACC Tournament next week. The ACC Tournament will begin play on Tuesday, May 24. The first day Miami will play in the tournament is yet to be announced.
Winning Pitcher: Ronaldo Gallo (3-0, 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K)
Losing Pitcher: Jack Findlay (5-2, 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)