Canes outhit, outpitch Virginia in series opener, win 11th straight game

Sophomore Carson Palmquist pitches in No. 8 Miami’s 6-2 win over No. 3 Virginia on Friday, April 8, 2022 at Mark Light Field. Palmquist struck out eight batters and allowed the Cavaliers’ only two hits of the game.
Sophomore Carson Palmquist pitches in No. 8 Miami’s 6-2 win over No. 3 Virginia on Friday, April 8, 2022 at Mark Light Field. Palmquist struck out eight batters and allowed the Cavaliers’ only two hits of the game. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

An early two-run deficit and the top-scoring team in the country didn’t prove to be too much for the hottest team in the Atlantic Coast Conference Friday night.

A packed Alex Rodriguez Park of 3,552 people got to enjoy the No. 8 Miami Hurricanes (24-6, 11-2 ACC) win their 11th straight game 6-2 over No. 3 Virginia (26-4, 9-4 ACC) at Mark Light Field.

“It’s a good start to the series,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “We got some big hits and answered back after they scored. We outhit them and we outpitched them. I’m very happy with the series opening win and we’ll turn the page and get ready to play tomorrow.”

The two teams are at the top of the ACC Coastal, so Miami’s series-opening win created a two-game separation over Virginia for the division lead.

It was a great hitting display from the Hurricanes, which ended up having 10 hits compared to Virginia’s two. Three Miami home runs earned four of its six runs, in which two of them were solo home runs from junior catcher Maxwell Romero in the second inning and freshman outfielder Gaby Gutierrez in the fifth. It was Gutierrez’s first home run ever as a Hurricane.

A two-run home run from sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead in the third inning. His excitement grew as the ball went over the center field wall while he rounded first base. Morales ended his day 2-for-4 with his home run and a single in the sixth.

“It felt amazing to hit that ball,” Morales said “I knew as it came off the bat that it was gone, and it making it so that we were in the lead. I was pumped.”

Miami scored two additional runs in the sixth on an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke and a groundout from freshman designated hitter Zach Levenson that brought Romero home.

Starting ace Carson Palmquist surrendered no earned runs on two hits and had eight strikeouts in six innings pitched. The sophomore earned the win and is now on a four-game winning streak of his own. He started off slow, however, throwing 50 pitches and accounted for Virginia’s two runs in the second inning.

“He and the defense started slow, however even with his pitch count being high he still had the velocity and control while getting outs quickly to stay in for as long as he did,” DiMare said.

As sophomore Alex McFarlane replaced Palmquist in the seventh, the UM bullpen then kept UVA hitless.

On the defensive side, Miami committed three errors which were crucial in helping Virginia score early.

“The errors really hurt us today, however we beat them hitting wise 10 to 2 and ultimately runs 6 to 2” DiMare said. “It was a great win for us, nonetheless, and we need to fix the fielding and continue the hitting tomorrow.”

On Saturday, the two teams meet again in Coral Gables for Game 2 of the series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.