On Sunday afternoon, the only Hurricanes to pass through Mark Light Field were donning pink uniforms in honor of Mother’s Day, but May showers drenched Coral Gables shortly after the series finale between UM and Appalachian State had begun.
Inclement weather in the area early in the ballgame forced an unusual, strange set of circumstances for the Hurricanes and the Mountaineers. The two were scheduled for a start time of 1 p.m. and were able to complete a full inning of baseball before the game was delayed for nearly two and a half hours.
Play resumed at 4 p.m., but the visiting Mountaineers had a cut-off time of 6 p.m. in place to return home to Boone, North Carolina. With this in mind, the umpire crew determined that no additional innings would be played after the cut-off time, but an unfinished inning would be able to be completed.
Under a time crunch with two hours of play time on the field, UM and Appalachian State were able to complete five full innings after the weather delay, which saw the Hurricanes explode for their second double-digit scoring effort in as many days. The game ended after six full innings, with the Hurricanes sweeping the series after scoring 10 unanswered runs over the Mountaineers.
“It was a great day for the team today, a great team win and especially on Mother’s Day in front of our parents and mothers,” Hurricanes third baseman Yohandy Morales said. “Everybody came out and did a really great job so it was an exciting one for us.”
Despite ultimately dropping the series finale, Appalachian State brought out the bats right out of the gates, tallying two runs in the top half of the first against Miami’s starting pitcher, Jake Garland.
The Mountaineers’ middle infielder duo of Bailey Welch and Luke Drumheller led off the game with base hits, and a sacrifice fly from left fielder Kendall McGowan brought Welch in to score to give Appalachian State an early 1-0 lead.
The Mountaineers were able to bring in a second run in the inning after a wild throw from Morales got past first baseman Alex Toral, plating Drumheller from second base.
However, the rest of the game – rain delay and all – belonged to the Hurricanes. In the bottom half of the opening frame, Miami quickly erased their deficit and doubled Appalachian State’s scoring output, ending the inning with a 4-2 lead.
Mountaineers starter Quinton Martinez struggled with his pitch command early and got off to a rocky start, walking Miami’s first two hitters in Tony Jenkins and Anthony Vilar. Catcher Adrian Del Castillo then stroked a two-RBI double to left to clear the bases, and left fielder Christian Del Castillo swapped spots with his brother on the field by following with an RBI double of his own. Designated hitter Raymond Gil concluded Miami’s first inning rally with an RBI single to center.
After the delay, Garland pitched a clean inning for the Canes, but Martinez was replaced on the mound by Jason Cornatzer. With two outs in the inning, the Hurricanes pounced on the right-hander and added two insurance runs to double their lead.
Vilar got the offense started with a double off the left-center field wall. He was brought in to score on an RBI single to center from Morales, who then was plated on a single from Christian Del Castillo.
In the top half of the third, Victor Mederos assumed the pitching duties for Miami and retired the side in order to begin his day on the mound. Despite getting into a one-out bases-loaded jam in the fourth, he was able to escape the inning on an unconventional double play.
Mederos recorded his second out of the inning by striking out third baseman Peyton Idol, but a passed ball from Adrian Del Castillo saw right fielder Dalton Williams dart home to try to trim the Mountaineers’ deficit. Del Castillo then tossed the ball to Mederos, who was waiting at the plate, and he applied the tag on Williams with plenty of time to end the inning.
In his two innings of work, Mederos punched out four hitters, walked two and surrendered one hit.
Christian Del Castillo padded Miami’s lead in the bottom of the fourth by recording his third RBI hit of the afternoon to drive in Morales. Morales then contributed a three-run double in the bottom half of the fifth to blow the game wide open and give the Hurricanes a decisive eight-run lead.
Morales and the Del Castillo brothers, who compose Miami’s three-four-five punch in the batting order, registered eight of Miami’s 10 RBI’s and combined for an 8-10 day at the plate.
“We were just trying to match each other. I’d get a hit and then Del gets a hit and his brother gets it, so it was fun and exciting to watch,” Morales said. “We were just all going back and forth, but the whole team was hitting good today. Everything went well for us.”
Andrew Walters handled the top half of the sixth for the Canes and pitched a scoreless inning despite encountering some traffic on the base paths after allowing two walks. Miami then had a scoreless bottom half of the sixth and the game was called after the 6 p.m. cut-off time had been passed.
“I’m pleased, obviously, with the sweep, winning the three games over the weekend,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “It was kind of an unusual day with the weather and everything, and not knowing how many innings we’d play. Overall, I’m happy with the win.”
With the weekend sweep over Appalachian State, the Hurricanes improved their overall record to 27-15, but they look to improve their conference record next weekend when they host the Coastal Division-leading Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for their final home series of the season.
The series opener is scheduled for Friday, May 14 at 7 p.m.