Yohandy Morales could not be stopped.
The sophomore infielder rocketed three shots past the outfield wall at Mark Light Field Saturday evening, pushing the top-seeded Hurricanes past fourth-seeded Canisius, 11-6.
“I’m always trying to do the best can when I go out there,” Morales said. “I just try to do what I can to help my team win.”
The Golden Griffins roared first, jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the second. These runs came at the expense of freshman starter Karson Ligon. The Sarasota, Fla. native threw 50 pitches, allowing six hits and four earned runs in 1.1 innings on the mound.
Miami’s batters also faced a slow stretch, connecting on only one hit in the fourth through sixth. Both units found their respective rythyms.
UM’s bullpen, highlighted by right-hander Alejandro Torres, brought stability, forcing Canisius to go scoreless through the seventh. The Golden Griffins added a run in both the eighth and ninth.
Torres, a sophomore from Miami, threw two scoreless innings, striking out three batters on 26 pitches. Miami closer Andrew Walters secured his 14th save of the season, throwing 34 pitches and striking out three batters.
“Some of our pitchers threw very well,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “Torres and [freshman relief pitcher] Gage Ziehl came in and did well … At the end of the day, this is a team game and it’s a team win, and we were able to get it done, especially on the offensive side.”
Led by Morales’s prowess, the Canes crossed home plate seven times on six hits. This scoring onslaught gave Miami an 11-5 lead.
Miami will play its next game Sunday at 3:06 p.m. against the winner of Ole Miss and Arizona.