Miami baseball made it look easy against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, winning 9-0 at Mark Light Field Tuesday night.
Controlling from start to finish, the No. 5 Canes increased their home record to 20-4 and secured their 12th straight home win.
Sophomore starter Jake Garland (6-1) continued his impressive 2022 campaign, pitching seven shutout innings and striking out seven batters. Garland improved his ERA to 2.19 and retired eight consecutive batters at one point during his win.
“A big part of the success of my outing was my slider,” Garland said. “My slider was working really well. My fastball runs into the plate and my slider goes away. Having two pitches that go in different directions really makes it hard for hitters. I worked on it in my last bullpen, getting the spin right.”
Miami (29-8, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored a run in each of the first two innings thanks to a sacrifice fly from sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales, paired with three Bethune-Cookman errors and a wild pitch.
The Hurricanes’ offense did their real damage later on, scoring seven runs between the sixth and seventh.
Outfielder Jacob Burke started the sixth with a leadoff double, and was joined on base by outfielder Gaby Gutierrez and second baseman Henry Wallen after an error and a walk. Catcher Carlos Perez’s sacrifice flyout scored Burke, and sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus followed Perez with an RBI single, scoring Gutierrez.
Freshman outfielder Edgardo Villegas roped a double into right field to score Wallen and Kayfus to wrap up the scoring in the sixth and increase the lead to 5-0.
Other than a 2-for-4 outing from right fielder Christopher Patterson, a Miami-Dade College transfer, Bethune-Cookman (16-20) never found a spark. Seven runners were left on base, as the Wildcats finished 0-for-6 when runners were in scoring position.
Miami kept the pressure on in the seventh, as each of the first four Hurricanes reached base.
Gutierrez and Wallen drove in the first two runs, while Kayfus hit a clutch two-out double to score Gutierrez and sophomore shortstop Dominic Pitelli to bring the lead to nine. Kayfus added another impressive performance to an already great season, going 3-for-4 and batting in three runs on.
“Once one guy gets a hit, it feels super contagious, that’s what happened with us,” Kayfus said. “I was just trying to keep my mojo going, not changing anything, staying the same.”
Sophomore Alex McFarlane and junior Anthony Arguelles took care of the pitching duties in the eighth and ninth, shutting out the remaining Bethune-Cookman offense and securing the win for Miami.
“It was one of those games where it was moving along slowly and you’re waiting and waiting,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “Fortunately, we were able to put up some numbers there in those innings. I was happy to see the bats come alive and get some hits, two-out hits there.”
Miami continues its home stretch with a three-game series against Pittsburgh starting on Friday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.