No. 24 Miami sweeps Virginia Tech with 2-0 victory

Hurricanes right fielder Adrian Del Castillo celebrates with his teammates after blasting his sixth home run of the season. Del Castillo led No. 24 Miami to a 2-0 victory over Virginia Tech. Photo by Josh Halper

Virginia Tech right-hander Nic Enright retired the first 10 Hurricanes he faced Sunday afternoon.

After walking shortstop Anthony Vilar, fellow freshman Adrian Del Castillo made the Hokies’ hurler pay.

Del Castillo smacked a two-run home run over the right-field field to lead No. 24 Miami to a 2-0 win over Virginia Tech at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“He crushed that ball,” UM head coach Gino DiMare said. “That ball was a no-doubter. It was right in the wheelhouse. It looked like an off-speed pitch down and in. He golfed it out of there. He was the MVP of the game.”

With the victory, Miami has swept two Atlantic Coast Conference series in the last three weeks. The Hurricanes (31-14, 14-10 ACC) picked up their 11th consecutive victory over the Hokies (24-21, 7-17 ACC), dating back to 2016.

“Happy with the sweep,” the first-year skipper said. “With all the guy we got down…very proud of our team for guys stepping up, playing different positions or guys being inserted into the lineup who haven’t been in the lineup.”

Del Castillo shined in the field as well, making an impressive defensive play in right field to rob an extra-base hit from Kerry Carpenter to preserve the shutout.

“I’m starting to get used to it,” Del Castillo said about playing outfield. “I’m starting to read the ball better and making better routes to the ball. Now, I’m getting the hang out of it.”

Despite pitching on three days of rest, Miami junior right-hander Tyler Keysor (5-0) set a new career-high with seven strikeouts over a career-best 4 2/3 shutout innings. Keysor allowed just four base runners, surrendering just three hits and one hit by pitch.

“My goal was to go out and put up zeros,” Keysor said. “Brian [Van Belle] had a lot of success yesterday, especially with burying his changeup down. They were definitely struggling to hit the changeup in the dirt. So my goal, when I got two strikes, was to take advantage of it and bury the pitches.”

Sophomore reliever Daniel Federman, who matched a season-high four punchouts, tossed the final three innings to notch his seventh save of the season.

UM’s pitching staff extended their scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings, dating back to Friday evening.

“They are doing nothing but filling it up,” Keysor said about the bullpen. “Their clutch rating has to be through the roof right now, going out and doing their job.”

The back-to-back shutouts mark the second time this season the Hurricanes blanked an opponent in consecutive games. Miami held rival Florida State scoreless April 5-6.

Enright (1-2) was lifted after just four innings. The junior held Miami to just two hits and struck out seven, but Del Castillo’s sixth blast of the season proved to be the difference.

“I saw a good pitch to hit,” Del Castillo said. “For the most part, it was hanging. He threw me a slider on that pitch and I just barreled it up.”

Sophomore center fielder Tony Jenkins, who collided with Del Castillo on a flyball in the second inning, left the game in the fifth due to an apparent arm injury.

The Hurricanes continue their homestand May 3 against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.