After dropping its first matchup 11-6 and winning 2-1 on Saturday, Miami baseball cruised to a 10-0 shutout victory against Harvard Sunday afternoon at Mark Light Field.
Sophomore captain Jake Garland pitched six shutout innings, allowing only two hits and retiring 11 straight batters at one point during his second outing of the season.
“Jake was very efficient,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “His bread and butter is getting ground balls and he got 12 today. That’s exactly what he does and that’s what you want on a Sunday.”
The Canes (7-1) exploded for eight runs in the first two innings thanks to seven of their nine starters reaching base.
Sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus led off with a walk in the bottom of the first inning, reached third from Yohandy Morales’ single, and then stole home on a wild pitch. Following a walk from Vanderbilt transfer catcher Maxwell Romero, sophomore Jacob Burke, a Southeastern Louisiana transfer with already 11 RBI, blasted a 405-foot three-run home run to extend UM’s lead to 4-0.
“Burke, he’s been great,” DiMare said. “He’s one of the toughest kids on the team, an old-school Miami player, a great addition to the program.”
Miami followed up its first inning with an impressive second that saw four different Canes driving in runs.
Center fielder Edgardo Villegas was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning and shortstop Dominic Pitelli followed with a single. After a wild pitch allowed runners to advance, Kayfus reached base by error. The Canes rallied for three more hits, knocking out Harvard starting pitcher Jaren Zinn, and tallying three more runs to make it 8-0.
In the bottom of the third with two outs, CJ Kayfus launched a solo shot for his first home run of the year that extended the lead to 9-0.
“It was pretty damaging those first three innings, you could see it, you could feel it,” DiMare said.
Garland (2-0) continued his impressive outing, pitching 1-2-3 innings in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth. DiMare said if Miami needed Garland to go all the way, he could have easily pitched a complete game, but the Hurricanes wanted to incorporate fresh arms after the game was clearly out of reach.
The Hurricanes got their final run in the bottom of the sixth inning, thanks to sophomore Carlos Perez’s solo home run in his first at bat of the season.
“We have the ability to do a little bit of everything,” Burke said. “Some days, it’ll be power, some days we’ll manufacture runs. It’s nice to have guys that can do multiple things where you are not always relying on one part of the game.”
Miami relied on some impressive defending and its reliable pitching staff to secure the victory in the final three innings.
True freshman Gaby Gutierrez made a beautiful diving catch in left field in the seventh, while right-hand reliever Jordan Dubberly came in to continue the shutout, recording back to back strikeouts to end the inning.
Harvard got some momentum in the eight inning as infielder Jake Berger led off with a walk and advanced to third off a stolen base and ground out. After freshman Matt Raudelunas walked Harvard’s Hunter Baldwin with two outs, Miami righty Alejandro Torres entered in relief to strike out the final batter to get out of the jam, and leave the two Harvard runners stranded.
Miami closer JP Gates struck out the final two Harvard batters to close out the series. Garland earned the win and kept his ERA at zero, while Zinn picked up the loss.
Miami now looks forward to a weekend series against in-state rival Florida. With Alex Rodriguez Park sold out for Friday, the atmosphere is set for an electrifying matchup. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.