Anthony Vilar, Adrian Del Castillo power Canes to series sweep over Wake Forest

Freshman Yohandy Morales went 1-4 with one RBI Saturday night in Miami's 6-3 win over Wake Forest at Mark Light Field.
Freshman Yohandy Morales went 1-4 with one RBI Saturday night in Miami's 6-3 win over Wake Forest at Mark Light Field. Photo credit: Tim Brogdon/Miami Athletics

Miami’s bats have been rolling all week, and Saturday night’s series finale versus the Wake Forest Demon Deacons proved to be no exception.

After routing Florida Atlantic University on Tuesday with an 11-run outburst and stunning Wake Forest on Friday with a 10-0 shutout, the Canes busted out the bats again to win their second straight conference series with a 6-3 victory over the Demon Deacons.

As has been the case all season long for the Hurricanes, they cracked the scoreboard early with an RBI base knock off the bat of Yohandy Morales to give UM (8-4, 5-3 ACC) an early 1-0 lead. However, 2019 ACC Player of the Year and Wake Forest slugger Bobby Seymour cranked a game-tying solo shot in the top half of the second to even the score at 1-1.

Through the next several frames, it was a pitchers duel between Miami’s starting pitcher, freshman Victor Mederos, and Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder. Mederos and Lowder both dominated going into the sixth, but Mederos ultimately caved and surrendered a two-out double to Michael Turconi, who reached home on a go-ahead two-run blast to left field from Brock Wilken. With the Demon Deacons up 3-1, Seymour doubled to chase Mederos from his outing. He ended with a solid line of 5.2 innings with three earned runs and seven strikeouts.

The Canes struck back in the bottom of the sixth and leveled the playing field once again with a game-tying drive over the right field wall off the bat of Anthony Vilar. The homer for Vilar extended his hitting streak to nine games. Lowder was removed shortly afterwards after a loud line-out to third from Morales. Left-handed pitcher Hunter Furtado entered the game in relief.

“We’re getting some power and some clutch hitting,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “That’s a huge home run because you’re down 3-1 after they hit [their home run] and you’re deflated a little bit. We answered right back there with the two-run homer.”

Adrian Del Castillo joined the slugfest to break the tie and rewarded the Canes with their first lead since the opening frame. The solo shot was his third long ball in his last four games.

“[Furtado] was warming up and I saw him throwing curveballs in the dirt, very in front of the plate, so I kind of took that out of the equation and just waited for a fastball and ended up getting it,” Del Castillo said.

UM added some insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings off of a wild pitch and an RBI base knock from Alex Toral, but the story for the remainder of the game was Miami’s consistent and reliable pitching staff.

Anthony Arguelles – who earned the win – pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and Carson Palmquist continued his remarkable stretch of appearances on the mound to retire all seven hitters requested of him and earn his fifth save of the season in five opportunities.

Throughout the season, Palmquist has statistically been one of the highest-performing pitchers in the country, and a key factor is the high volume of outs he has had to record during his appearances. Despite being Miami’s closer, he has logged several innings of work in his outings all season long.

“It’s just like a mentality thing, knowing that you’re going to go out there and throw multiple innings and not to let one thing get in control of your attitude,” Palmquist said of his unique workload out of Miami’s bullpen.

Miami was originally scheduled to conclude their series versus the Demon Deacons Sunday afternoon, but the finale has been cancelled due to a lack of available pitchers on Wake Forest’s staff.

The Canes will next take the field on Wednesday to play a midweek game versus Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers, Fl. They will enter the new week with a five-game win streak, where they have averaged nearly eight runs per game, and an 8-4 overall record.