Miami starting center fielder Jacob Burke stepped into the batter’s box and didn’t hold back against a team the Miami Hurricanes had never faced.
Burke collected eight RBI hits for the most by a Hurricane in five years, leading Miami’s lineup in a 22-0 rout over North Dakota State on a humid, 90-degree night at Mark Light Field Friday.
“Happy to see us come out and swing the bats. Throughout the lineup, we had some big numbers we put up there,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “Overall, we played a very complete game. Our pitchers, [Carson Palmquist and Jake Garland] threw very, very well. I thought we played very good defense and made an excellent highlight play out there in center field.”
No. 6 Miami scored a season-high and the most runs since 2015, when it marked 50 wins before losing to Florida in the College World Series.
Sophomore leadoff hitter CJ Kayfus first moved into scoring position after managing a bunt single.
From there, Miami (33-12, 17-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) gathered instant hitting rhythm, scoring six runs on five RBI hits in the opening frame.
Sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales and sophomore catcher Jacob Burke each hit one-run doubles. Freshman outfielder Gaby Gutierrez then collected his first in seven contests and an RBI single from Kayfus expanded the Hurricanes’ lead to six.
In the second inning, North Dakota State starter Max Loven didn’t recover from a rocky start, allowing four additional earned runs. Burke provided a three-run shot and sophomore shortstop Dominic Pitelli and freshman second baseman Ariel Garcia each homered.
Sophomore starter Carson Palmquist started with momentum, retiring eight of the first 10 Bison batters.
“My body felt great. I just feel like my body’s on cruise control. Honestly, I’ve felt better as the season’s gone on, just learning more pitches and what my pitches are doing,” Palmquist said. “It’s been a huge learning experience but I feel like my body’s feeling great. I’m ready to go deep into the postseason.”
North Dakota State left fielder Cadyn Schwabe led off the third with a triple to right field, but was left stranded in scoring position.
Closing out the third with a two-run single, Garcia moved Miami further ahead 14-0.
Back-to-back two-out hits in the third placed two Bison hitters on base for the first time, though neither scored.
North Dakota State (25-14, 12-4 Summit) registered only three hits.
In the fourth, Burke hit a second three-run blast, driving in three more runs for the most RBI since former UM outfielder Michael Burns’ on March 12, 2017. The Southeastern Louisiana transfer drove in Morales with his second RBI double in the fifth.
“Today, we did a lot of work, early work. Just getting back to the fundamentals and getting back to what made us successful throughout the year to this point,” Burke said. “Credit to guys in front of me in the lineup…I’m pretty sure every time I was up today there was a runner on third or at least a runner in scoring position. So, I was just trying to get a good pitch and get something to drive.”
Garcia finished off UM’s scoring avalanche with another solo home run in the eighth.
“I’ve just been looking at the ball, letting it come to me,” Garcia said. “Staying in my legs and listening to the coaches. I’m seeing the ball very good right now.”
In the sixth, DiMare pulled Palmquist for sophomore right-handed pitcher Jake Garland. Palmquist allowed three hits and struck out six batters.
Hurricanes pitching cruised to retire the final 16 of the final 17 North Dakota batters.
“I know how dominant Jake is every outing. He’s one of our better pitchers on the staff and he’s filled the starting role in the midweeks and that’s huge to get our wins up and not lose pointless midweek games,” Palmquist said. “He could be starting any weekend game for us.”
Palmquist (7-3) garnered the win and Loven (6-4) picked up the loss.
UM and North Dakota State returns for the second game of the series Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
“We needed to get a game where we got into a little bit of a tough patch,” DiMare said. “It was good to see the guys play the game the way they did today.”