Call them the comeback kids.
For the third straight game, the sixth-ranked University of Miami baseball team erased an early deficit and overpowered its opponent for a victory at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Sophomore Yasmani Grandal and seniors Jonathan Weislow and Dave DiNatale each hit home runs for the Hurricanes (12-2) in an 11-6 win against Pittsburgh (4-4) last night.
Hitters six through nine collected six of the nine hits and drove in nine of the 11 runs for the Canes.
After falling behind 6-0, Miami scored 11 unanswered runs in four consecutive innings, beginning in the fourth and including a six-run fifth.
Grandal, who was the designated hitter and brought home a team-high four RBIs, hit a bases-clearing double in the fourth, which made the score 4-3. He later blasted a solo shot in the seventh.
“[As a designated hitter] last year, I kind of pressed a little bit while I was playing, but this year I’ve got a little bit more of a smile on my face if I’m behind the plate or not,” Grandal said.
Weislow’s three-run moon shot over the Qdoba sign in left during the fifth gave the Hurricanes their first lead at 9-6. Since the Florida series when he collected five RBIs, Weislow’s average had dropped to .258.
“It feels great. We definitely came out flat today, though. It’d be nice if we didn’t have to come back every day to win,” he said.
Freshman starter Daniel Miranda (0-1) was knocked around for the second consecutive midweek game and the bullpen continued its success with 6.1 scoreless innings as senior Jason Santana picked up his second win. Over the last 50.1 innings, Hurricane relievers have allowed just four earned runs.
The Canes committed two errors early on when preseason All-American Ryan Jackson, who has already chucked five balls and recorded only eight all of last year, saw the ball go under his glove. Freshman Harold Martinez also misplayed a ground ball.
As for overcoming the early defensive miscues and sluggish starts, head coach Jim Morris believes he has a solution.
“I’ve got the cure. We need to start the games at seven like we used to because we don’t start to play until seven anyway,” Morris said. “We didn’t get good starting pitching and I thought we were flat. But the good news is we didn’t quit, we battled back. For a young club, I think that’s pretty good. But I don’t think that that can continue if we want to go to the Promised Land.”
On Tuesday night, St. Joseph’s (1-8) took a 3-0 lead, but the Hurricanes came right back with four runs of their own and won 11-6.
Six different Hurricanes finished with multiple hits, including three hits apiece for junior transfer Scott Lawson and DiNatale.
Freshman Nathan Melendres’ 12-game hitting streak was snapped and he went hitless during the two midweek games.
Starter John Housey gave up six runs in four innings and junior reliever Michael Rudman (2-0) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings.
Miami hosts Duke (9-4, 2-1) for a three-game series this weekend, starting at 7 p.m. Friday.
“My prediction before the season started was that Duke will have the best club they’ve ever had,” Morris said. “I think their coaching staff has done a great job and they’ve improved more than any club in the conference that I know of.”