Facing elimination for the first time in the Coral Gables Regional, Miami third baseman Yohandy “Yo-yo” Morales made sure to have one of his best performances of the season. With two home runs and two singles, he pushed Hurricanes baseball to eliminate Louisiana by beating them 8-5 at Mark Light Field on Saturday afternoon.
The two home runs today from Morales marked the fourth time he has had a multiple home-run game this season and the seventh time it has happened in his career.
“It felt good,” Morales said. “Felt good getting the job done, now onto the next game.”
Miami continues its Coral Gables Regional elimination games against Texas at 6:06 p.m. at Mark Light Field. With one more loss, Miami is out of the NCAA Tournament.
But UM’s offense, spearheaded by Morales, bounced back strong against Louisiana to keep them alive for the time being.
After the Hurricanes left six runners on base in the first two innings of their previous game against Texas, Miami freshman Blake Cyr took advantage of the two runners in the first inning by slamming a fastball over the scoreboard to give the ‘Canes a 3-0 lead. With that home run, Cyr is now tied for second place in Miami history for most home runs by a freshman.
The Ragin’ Cajuns were able to find early hitting success as well. In the second inning, they were able to string a couple of singles together and score a run to cut the lead to two, and in the third, they did it again to grab another run and cut it to one.
“The team is a good team,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “They play hard, they battle hard, and we knew that coming in. Bottom line is I’m proud of our guys.”
Miami’s subsequent runs came in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to one of Morales’ singles that brought Edgardo Villegas and CJ Kayfus home to extend its lead to 5-2.
But Louisiana showed no signs of defeat. In the bottom of the fifth, it again hit two singles and brought in two runs to bring the score to 5-4. On the day, Louisiana connected on 11 hits – two more than the ‘Canes had.
But the game’s name isn’t the most hits; it’s the most runs.
Much of the Cajuns’ success came from Miami pitcher Alejandro Rosario. In the six-inning win he pitched, Rosario allowed seven hits with three earned runs and six strikeouts. He also threw a career-high 114 pitches, the most pitches a Miami Hurricane has thrown this season.
“Alejandro is outstanding,” DiMare said. “114 pitches is normally not the case, but when you get to this stage, you try to save guys.”
Lousiana’s center fielder, Carson Roccaforte, had a great game against Rosario. He led the Cajuns with three hits in his three at-bats against Rosario, with two singles and a double. The double was the 26th for him on the season and the most a Louisiana player has had in its history.
But Louisiana’s success changed once Miami brought out All-American closer Andrew Walters.
In his three innings pitched, Walters only gave up a solo home run from Caleb Stelly and three additional hits to ensure the Ragin’ Cajuns had not shot at rallying. He also had four strikeouts, bringing him up to 72 on the year, and ended the game with a strikeout with runners on the corners.
Walters had run support to help him. Morales’ solo homers came in the seventh and ninth innings, and a homer from Jacoby Long in the ninth brought Miami’s score tally to eight and clear of Louisiana.