Kayfus’ walk-off single seals series-opening win for Miami

Miami baseball players celebrate on-field after sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus' walk-off single in the 10th inning of No. 5 Miami's 2-1 win on Friday, April 22, 2022 at Mark Light Field.
Miami baseball players celebrate on-field after sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus' walk-off single in the 10th inning of No. 5 Miami's 2-1 win on Friday, April 22, 2022 at Mark Light Field. Photo credit: Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes collected their 30th win on the season in thrilling fashion: with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Although the Pittsburgh Panthers outhit the Hurricanes 11 to seven, there seemed to be nothing they could do to beat the No. 5 Hurricanes late in a 2-1 Miami win Friday at Mark Light Field.

“One thing we’re doing is we’re playing well as a team,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “It’s always somebody different. It’s a lot of guys contributing, which to me stands out the most about this team.”

Sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus got the walk-off single for his only hit of the night. The left-hander hit a line drive to left field which saw freshman second baseman Henry Wallen score. Miami’s entire dugout immediately emerged onto the field to celebrate the victory.

“I knew the shortstop was shifted over more towards the middle of the infield,” Kayfus said. “I hit it the other way and I knew it was going through. Honestly, I was trying not to get tackled, that’s really it.”

The win marks the third straight for Miami (30-8, 15-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) while Pittsburgh drops to 21-15 and 9-9 in the ACC. UM’s record is the best through 38 games since 2016, when it was the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.

Sophomore starter Carson Palmquist threw 5 1/3 innings, striking out 11 batters while holding Pittsburgh scoreless on six hits.

Once Miami turned to closer Andrew Walters in the eighth, the sophomore struck out six batters.

But a home run allowed to Panthers shortstop Brock Franks leveled up the contest to start the ninth. Walters followed the homer by striking out the next three batters.

Pittsburgh starter Matt Gilbertson pitched a strong eight innings, finishing with one earned run and seven strikeouts.

Junior reliever Anthony Arguelles, despite allowing two hits in the 10th, ended up with the win for the Hurricanes.

The rest of the Canes’ bullpen held the Panthers scoreless until the top of the ninth, after Miami struck first with a sacrifice fly from sophomore shortstop Dominic Pitelli in the second.

“Their pitchers did a good job, but our guys outpitched them and outdueled them,” DiMare said. “We just made the pitches when we really needed to make them.”

The two teams face off next on Saturday at Mark Light Field, where the Canes look to clinch the series win. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.