What a difference one night can make.
It took the Hurricanes five innings to score just two runs all of Friday night against Towson. But tonight, Miami wasted no time getting the bats going in the 8-2 win over the Tigers in the second game of the three-game weekend series.
In the bottom of the first inning, leadoff hitter Jordan Lala singled to open the game and Anthony Vilar reached first base on an error by the first baseman. Sophomore Adrian Del Castillo recorded an RBI that allowed Lala to score after the Towson first baseman committed an error. Raymond Gil followed up with a sacrifice fly RBI that gave Vilar the chance to cross home plate, and gave the Canes a 2-0 lead.
“I think we were barreling up a lot more balls,” Vilar said. “Having better at bats and just seeing our pitches and driving it.”
But Miami (7-3) was not done scoring in the inning. Last year’s ACC home run leader and junior first baseman Alex Toral smashed a two-run home run to right field to give Miami an early 4-0 lead. The home run was Toral’s third of the year.
Vilar hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the second. With Tuero on second base via a single and Lala on first after a walk, Vilar’s right field homer brought Miami’s total to seven runs.
In a perfect combination of batting and pitching, Chris McMahon contributed to the Hurricanes win by pitching 6.2 shutout innings with a career-high 12 strikeouts. The junior threw 110 pitches and surrendered just three hits, while walking two batters.
“It felt good out there, getting ahead of guys, fastball command was working,” McMahon said. “The slider tonight was pretty good, so just attacking guys right away and getting down in the zone. It feels good to get the career high.”
Miami’s offense remained stymied for four innings, until Towson pitcher Matt Watters walked in a batter that pushed Miami’s offensive total to 8-0.
The Tigers were able to get on the board in the top of the ninth inning with two runs off freshman pitcher Yordani Carmona. Miami’s bullpen struggled for the second night. Albert Maury pitched 0.2 innings and gave up one hit, Spencer Bodanza faced two batters and walked one and Carmona gave up two runs on four hits.
Despite the offensive firepower from Toral and Vilar, Miami finished the game with six total hits, one more than last night’s game. Del Castillo failed to get a hit again tonight. Raymond Gil and JP Gates also both did not record a hit.
“We hit the ball better today, although we didn’t get as many hits,” DiMare said. “They all came early, but we hit some balls hard and deep there in the middle of the game. Certainly like to see more hits. Definitely felt better about tonight. We still need a few more guys in the lineup to do a better job. It’s a work in progress.”
The Hurricanes will close out the weekend with the series finale against Towson tomorrow at Mark Light Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with sophomore Slade Cecconi on the mound for Miami.