After a close 9-8 win on Friday against North Carolina State (NC State), Miami won a decisive game on Saturday, defeating the Wolfpack, 8-1.
This win clinched the series between the two teams on a beautiful evening at Mark Light Field.
Starting pitcher Gage Ziehl had the most notable performance. He came into the game with an ERA of 11.25, and a record of 1-2. This weekend, however, he flipped the script as he had allowed three hits and struck out eight batters in eight innings pitched.
“I let my emotions go,” Ziehl said. “I’m just going out there trying to attack hitters. I had to fight through adversity in my first few starts. The beginning of the season didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but the season is long and we’ve got a lot of games left.”
There were many other notable performances, including from first basemen CJ Kayfus who went 3-for-4 with two doubles, one triple, three RBIs and a run. Two of the three RBIs came in the bottom of the fourth inning, where Kayfus attempted an inside-the-park home run, but got tagged out at home plate.
Designated hitter Ian Farrow, who struggled to get on base at the beginning of the game, found late success with a two-run bomb over the right-field wall in the bottom of the seventh inning. This was Farrow’s third home run of the weekend after hitting two on Friday.
Yohandy Morales and Dominic Pitelli had impactful performances. Morales went 0-for-3, but had quality plate appearances and added two RBIs to his stat sheet. Pitelli went 0-for-1, but got on base in every single plate appearance as he walked twice, got hit by a pitch once, and got on base on an error in the bottom of the fourth inning, right before CJ Kayfus batted him in for a run.
In contrast to Ziehl, Wolfpack starting pitcher Matt Willadsen struggled, allowing five earned runs and five hits in 5.1 innings pitched. His lack of control was evident throughout the game. By the sixth inning, he had thrown 101 pitches and hit ‘Canes second baseman Blake Cyr with a pitch. This resulted in Cyr being sat down for Ariel Garcia for the remainder of the game.
The Wolfpack only managed four hits and one run, which was scored on a throwing error by UM catcher Carlos Perez.
Miami will aim to sweep NC State on Sunday at 1 p.m.