Morales’ walk-off double lifts ‘Canes to 4-3 win over No. 17 Virginia Tech

Junior infielder Yohandy Morales hits in the bottom of the first inning against NC State at the Mark Light Field on Friday, Mar. 10. Photo credit: Sam Peene

Tied at three going into the bottom of the ninth, the Miami Hurricanes had some Saint Patrick’s Day luck on their side as Yohandy Morales delivered a walk-off double to secure a 4-3 victory over the 17th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies on Friday night at Mark Light Field.

“Yoyo had the biggest hit of the year so far,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “We haven’t gotten that big two-out hit before that. We had a lot of opportunities in the game, but just couldn’t get it done. As long as he stays consistent with his approach, he’s going to do a lot of good things.”

In the first game of a three-game weekend series, Morales started off the scoring for the ‘Canes in the first, and his confidence showed all game. He ended the day the way he started it, by bringing runners home.

Miami took an early lead and pitched well until the Hurricanes’ starter, sophomore Karson Ligon, let up a pair of Virginia Tech homers in the fourth to give the Hokies a 3-1 lead. Junior Carson Jones had a two-run shot in the fourth and led the Hokies with two hits.

Miami scored a run in four different innings, and first baseman CJ Kayfus scored twice, had an RBI and reached base safely four different times.

Ligon was able to get through two outs in the fifth before Miami reliever Chris Scinta came into the game to pitch a scoreless 2.1 innings. Carlos Lequercia closed things out and gave Morales a chance to shine. The Hokies did not register a hit over the last 3.1 innings.

After Edgardo Villegas was stung by a pitch in the ninth, Morales stepped into the batter’s box and gave the ‘Canes their fourth win in their last five games.

“It’s a top-two moment in my baseball career,” Morales said. “We’re a family. We stick together and we have each other’s backs. It was an amazing experience to come through for our team.”

Miami looks to wrap up the series on a high note as it finishes with a doubleheader on Saturday against the Hokies starting at 2 p.m. in Coral Gables.