The No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes baseball team rallied in dramatic fashion Wednesday to sweep a two-game series with Bethune-Cookman University, marking the Hurricanes sixth straight victory.
Miami (19-2) put together a two-out rally in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Wildcats (14-7).
Miami trailed 6-4 entering the eighth, but received clutch hitting from the bottom of the lineup. With runners on second and third, outfielder Dave Dinatale hit a pinch-hit, two-run single to centerfield to tie the score. Catcher Yasmani Grandal followed up with a game-winning single to right field to plate Dinatatle.
Grandal also made the winning plays defensively, throwing out a runner at second base to end the game. Closer Carlos Gutierrez picked up his fifth save of the season.
“That’s a big win for us,” head coach Jim Morris said. “It’s great for our team to be able to go through a game and fight like that. I am very excited and that builds character right there to know we can come back. That’s going to help you later.”
Bethune-Cookman had a three-run fourth inning to chase starter David Gutierrez from the game. Gutierrez pitched three innings, allowing four runs on five hits. The Hurricanes committed three errors, but showed why they’re the No. 2-team in the country according to the National College Baseball Writers of America’s most recent poll.
“That’s what championship teams do to come back and get it done when it counts,” Dinatale said. “It’s a big win for our team and we will build off this.”
Miami’s offense has hit its stride as of late, scoring 10 or more runs in six straight games, setting a new school record. The streak was snapped Wednesday.
The improvements made offensively by shortstop Ryan Jackson and catcher Jason Hagerty from last season have increased the lineup’s output.
Jackson went 4-for-4 with 4 RBI, including his second home run of the season.
“It’s always good to get off to a good start at the plate and it’s even better that we’re winning,” Jackson said. “Last year, we had some bumps on the road. We’re hungry and ready to get back to Omaha.”
Hagerty’s solo home run gave the Hurricanes a 5-4 lead and he drove in three runs for the game. Hagerty’s power has come as a surprise after not hitting the long ball once last season. His six home runs are tied with Jemile Weeks for the team-lead.
“I feel comfortable, relaxed and I’m just playing my game,” Hagerty said. “I’m glad to be helping the team.”
Bethune-Cookman trailed 4-0 in the second but rallied against starter J.J. Housey to tie the game. The Wildcats fell behind again 6-4, but threatened by loading the bases in the seventh. Reliever Kyle Bellamy came to the rescue with two consecutive strikeouts to preserve the lead.
Housey earned his second win on the season by tossing 5 1/3 innings and battled back after a shaky second inning.
The Hurricanes look to carry the momentum against Duke this weekend in a three-game series.
Alex Kushel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.