In their first series against a non-Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since late February, the Miami Hurricanes showed why they are one of the best teams in the nation.
This weekend, No. 6 Miami (35-12, 17-7 ACC) swept the visiting North Dakota State Bison (26-16, 12-4 SUMMIT). Two dominating offensive performances on Friday and Saturday produced a combined score of 38-1, respectively.
On Sunday, the Hurricanes came away with a 6-4 victory, battling from behind when trailing in the late innings against a team they had never played in their 78-year history. Here are some of the takeaways from the series…
1. Another dominant hitting performance by Yohandy Morales
Everything was clicking at the plate this weekend for sophomore third baseman Yohandy Morales. The sophomore Miami native hit 10-of-15 this weekend, even more extraordinary when comparing to his average of .346 on the season. He especially showed consistency on Sunday, where his two home runs scored four of UM’s six runs.
“I told my mom I was going to try and hit a home run for her today,” Morales said. “I hugged her after the game and she thanked me for the amazing two gifts. The pitcher gave me a pitch middle-in on the next pitch and I got my hands extended.”
Nicknamed “Yo-Yo”, Morales certainly hits the ball similarly to the snap of the wrist it takes to roll a yo-yo. His 11 home runs leads the team, launching a pair of home runs each reaching over 400 feet Sunday.
It had seemed that Morales’ hitting brought the team alive on Mother’s Day where the Canes needed runs after a struggling start for sophomore Alejandro Rosario.
“Yoyo had an unbelievable day today,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “[He] picked me up, picked the team up, picked his teammates up. Just a really, really big win.”
2. Other bullpen pitchers get opportunities
On Friday and Saturday, back-of-bullpen pitchers who normally don’t get pitching opportunities in weekend opportunities received chances in each game’s final innings.
In the series opener, sophomore starter Jake Garland, Miami’s usual midweek starter tied for a team-low ERA of 2.95, pitched Friday’s last three innings. Garland struck out four batters while only giving up a walk. In hist first appearance since UM’s last midweek game, a 12-4 loss to Stetson, Garland certainly made well of the opportunity given to him.
On Saturday, redshirt junior Jordan Dubberly, sophomore Ronaldo Gallo and freshman Rafe Schlesinger pitched the last four innings, combining for for hit and seven strikeouts. For Schlesinger, the appearance was hist first in almost a month. The performances showed why each should receive consideration for added time on the mound.
3. A good way to build confidence before a rivalry series
The sweep creates a four-game win streak for the Hurricanes, needed for their confidence before going to Tallahassee for a series against the Florida State Seminoles. The No. 23-ranked Seminoles are coming off a series win against Boston College and will strive for a second straight conference series win, in order to move ahead of Notre Dame in the ACC Coastal.
Before that, however, the Hurricanes face Central Florida on Wednesday at Mark Light Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.