Gonzalez’s first-career RBI in 14th inning lifts Miami to sweep over North Carolina

Canes baseball players celebrate after freshman outfield/infielder Renzo Gonzalez’s walk off single RBI, earning the Canes a 3-2 victory over the Tarheels, in the bottom of the 14th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022.
Canes baseball players celebrate after freshman outfield/infielder Renzo Gonzalez’s walk off single RBI, earning the Canes a 3-2 victory over the Tarheels, in the bottom of the 14th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Thirteen innings passed before Miami freshman outfielder Renzo Gonzalez received the showering of his career.

The Miami native hit a one-out single up the middle, clinching Miami’s first conference series sweep of the season in a 3-2 win over No. 13 North Carolina at Mark Light Field Sunday.

It was Gonzalez’s first RBI as a Hurricane.

“I hit the ball, I saw the shortstop dive and knew there was no way he was going to stop it,” Gonzalez said. “The guys were going crazy. This is why you come to Miami.”

Freshman outfield/infielder Renzo Gonzalez hits a single up the middle, batting in sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke to earn the Canes a 3-2 victory over the Tarheels, in the bottom of the 14th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022.
Freshman outfield/infielder Renzo Gonzalez hits a single up the middle, batting in sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke to earn the Canes a 3-2 victory over the Tarheels, in the bottom of the 14th inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Trailing through the game’s first 8 ½ innings, the Hurricanes only managed two hits.

Then, another freshman outfielder stepped up to help give Miami (17-6, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) its first sweep over its ACC foe since 2016.

Without a hit since Miami’s first ACC series against Boston College, Gaby Gutierrez also singled up the middle.

“I was waiting for my opportunity,” Gutierrez said. “The coaches trusted me and I did my job. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. I don’t even know what to say. To do this in front of my family and in front of Miami, I’m speechless. This was a perfect moment.”

The game-tying play marked the Miami native’s first RBI of the season. UM scored its first run since the sixth inning — an RBI groundout from sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales.

Freshman outfielder Gaby Gutierez hits in the bottom of the ninth inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022. Gutierez batted in sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke to tie 2-2, and send the game into extra innings.
Freshman outfielder Gaby Gutierez hits in the bottom of the ninth inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022. Gutierez batted in sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke to tie 2-2, and send the game into extra innings. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

With three hits throughout the series’ first two games, North Carolina first baseman Hunter Stokely collected his first RBI of the weekend on a two-run single in the fourth.

Riding a 2-0 lead before never scoring again, North Carolina (18-6, 5-4 ACC) posted only two hits from the fourth through the 14th frame. No game in Coral Gables had lasted longer in four years.

“We stayed it in with our pitchers,” Miami head coach DiMare said. “Alejandro [Torres] threw great and our bullpen did outstanding. We threw a lot of guys and they all did their job. They kept the game intact. We kept getting a chance.”

Torres tossed the 11th and 12th innings as the fifth of six total Hurricanes relievers used. Sophomore starter Alejandro Rosario, who had yet to start since Feb. 25 against Harvard, struck out a season-high eight batters, relinquishing two earned runs on five hits.

Sophomore pitcher Alejandro Torres pitches at the top of the eleventh inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022.
Sophomore pitcher Alejandro Torres pitches at the top of the eleventh inning of Miami’s game versus the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Mark Light Field on March 27, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Tar Heels reliever Nik Pry (1-1) was tacked with his first loss of the season, giving up a leadoff single to the winning run in sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke. Junior reliver Anthony Arguelles earned the win, retiring North Carolina in order in the final two frames.

As the Canes hold wins in each of their first three conference series, they now sit tied with ACC Coastal leader Virginia before facing Florida Gulf Coast on the road Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

“This team fights for each other and that’s very important in this sport,” DiMare said. “We’re still finding ourselves, but this game told me a lot about our bullpen. We need more guys to step up and a lot of them did today.”