This article was originally published on March 22, but due to technical difficulties has been republished.
After their 6-5 loss to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) on Feb. 28, the Miami Hurricanes were out for redemption on Wednesday night, defeating the Owls 10-5.
The ‘Canes were off to a rough start when FAU hit three home runs just in the top of the first inning to put the Owls up by four. These home runs were scored by Dylan Goldstein, Caleb Pendelton and Nolan Shanuel, who has the 23rd best batting average in all of college baseball.
Offensively, UM did little damage to Owls starter CJ Williams. Because Williams was on a limited pitch count, he was pulled in the fourth inning for lefty Max Martzolf. This was the break that the ‘Canes needed, as they scored seven runs in the bottom of the same inning.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re down or lose a few games,” Miami infielder Dominic Pitelli said. “We’re so mentally strong as a team that none of that affects us.”
Freshman Blake Cyr’s three-run homer got the hitting parade started and energized a lackadaisical Miami dugout.
“He has more RBIs than any of our guys,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “He’s had as many clutch hits as anybody I can think of and he’s handled himself really really well as a freshman.”
Catcher Carlos Perez followed with a two-out double, which tied the game. Sizzling first baseman CJ Kayfus hit his fourth home run in three games, giving Miami its first lead.
UM expanded on its lead, with the decisive hit being a two-out double by Pitelli, who had four hits on the day.
DiMare’s decision to bring in lefties Rafe Schlesinger and Chris Scinta in relief of righty Carlos Lequerica likely saved the day for Miami. After FAU teed off on Lequerica in the top of the first, Dimare brought in Rafe Schlesinger, a crafty lefthander who kept the Owls off balance for three innings, allowing only one hit. Schlesinger’s ERA dropped from 4.31 to 3.00.
“His confidence has skyrocketed,” Dimare said.
DiMare then brought in Scinta, his dominant freshman left-handed reliever, who threw three perfect innings.
“I can locate [my fastball] wherever I want right now,” Scinta said. “I can go in and out so it works for me.”
During these six innings, Miami outscored the Owls, 9-0.
Miami has lit up the scoreboard in recent days, scoring 43 runs in its past three games for an average of 14.3 runs per game. Relief pitcher Andrew Walters earned the save by closing out the Owls in the ninth frame.
Miami improved its all-time record against FAU to 69-21.
Next up for the ‘Canes is a three-game showdown series against No. 2 Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“Anytime you get a chance to play a team that’s really really good and you are playing in their ballpark … this is a great chance,” DiMare said. “When you play on the road the stakes are even greater, the rewards are even higher.”