Del Castillo’s two home runs, Rivera’s grand slam lift Miami to 8-2 victory over Rutgers

Photo credit: Josh Halper

In a game that was suspended by rain and forced to be played over two days, the Hurricanes were triumphant over the Rutgers Scarlett Knights behind two home runs from Adrian Del Castillo and a grand slam from Gabe Rivera.

The game started well for the Hurricanes after junior pitcher Chris McMahon struck out Rutgers’ first three hitters to give Miami’s offense its first opportunity of the night. After two strikeouts, sophomore catcher Adrian Del Castillo opened scoring for the evening with a home run over left field.

Going into the second inning, Miami fans were hoping for some more flare from leadoff hitter Jordan Lala. The sophomore outfielder failed to get on base after four at-bats the night before and continued his cold streak after a hit that led to an inning-ending double play for Rutgers. Nevertheless, the Hurricanes still scored a run to extend their lead to two.

In the third inning, Rutgers’ junior Mike Nyisztor’s hit down the third base line was questionably considered a fair ball, setting up the two runs for the Knights and putting Rutger’s ahead for the first time of the weekend.

Chris McMahon responded with a strikeout to give the offense a chance to recapture the lead.

The hitters did not disappoint, as Del Castillo delivered his second home run of the night, a two-run homer, to give Miami a one score advantage at 3-2.

While the game slowed down for three scoreless innings, the already dreary weather worsened as the close contest entered the seventh inning. Junior Albert Maury Jr. came in to relieve McMahon, who recorded nine strikeouts in six innings.

After throwing three straight balls, Maury came back to strikeout his first hitter of the night.

Miami then closed out the top of the seventh with a double play off an assist from sophomore shortstop Anthony Vilar to juniors Tyler Paige and Alex Toral.

The offense built upon the team’s momentum going into the final half of the seventh inning.

With bases loaded for the third time this weekend, what first appeared to be a sac fly turned out to be a grand slam from Gabe Rivera to extend the Hurricanes’ lead to five.

The grand slam was the team’s first of the season and the first since Rivera hit one on April 10 of last year against Florida Gulf Coast University. The rain once again intensified after that, forcing a weather delay and eventual game suspension until the following day.

Miami kept the energy up going into Sunday, with a home run from sophomore designated hitter JP Gates to resume the second game of the series. When the Hurricanes took to the field, coach Gino DiMare replaced Maury with Alex MacFarlane to close out the game.

The freshman pitcher showed substantial promise in his first appearance, finishing with three strikeouts in two innings against eight batters. The Hurricanes will look to sweep the Knights in the final game of the series at 1:20 PM.