Cuvet’s clutch home run completes Miami’s comeback against No. 13 Virginia, 6-5

Freshman Daniel Duvet approaches home plate, notching four at-bats, four hits, and four runs during the second game of the double-header against NJIT, where the Hurricanes won 16-0 on February 17, 2024. Photo credit: Charisma Jones

In the bottom of the seventh, with a runner on first and second, Miami was searching for their first lead of the night against their first ACC opponent, the No. 13 ranked Virginia Cavaliers. UM’s Daniel Cuvet did just that, powering a clutch three-run home run over the fence in left-center field to take a one-run lead.

Cuvet’s long ball was just enough for UM to complete the comeback at Mark Light Field and win 6-5.

In the top of the ninth, Miami reliever Nick Robert was forced to work around a runner on third with one out. After getting the first batter to ground out, Robert got Luke Hanson to fly out to right field, completing the four-out save to win the opening series game.

The Cavaliers jumped on Miami’s Gage Ziehl early, immediately making loud contact. In the second inning, lefty Harrison Didawick took Ziehl’s 0-2 pitch opposite field, clearing the wall in left and allowing Virginia to take an early 2-0 lead.

In the third, with runners on first and second and no one out, UVA’s Ethan Anderson smoked a ground ball headed directly towards Ziehl. The righty fielded the ball and fired it high to shortstop Antonio Jimenez, who got the out at second but then misfired on his throw to first, allowing a run to score.

The young freshman’s error marked his fourth of the season and second of the game. Jimenez has struggled early on in his Miami career, both in the field and hitting. In his 2024 campaign, he is batting .172 with just three extra-base hits in 29 at-bats.

“He’s [Jimenez] got the ability to make the great play.” head coach J.D. Arteaga said after Sunday’s loss to UF. “But he’s got to be able to make the routine play.”

The Miami bats struggled to get anything going against UVA’s Cullen McKay. The sophomore righty struck out eight ‘Canes, allowed three runs on two hits, and surrendered his first base knock in the fifth inning.

In the sixth, the Miami bats finally woke up. Following a Dorian Gonzalez Jr. walk to load the bases with no one out, the Cavaliers pulled McKay, giving the ball to Chase Hungate. Jason Torres hit an RBI groundout, but it was catcher Jake Scanlon to ignite the crowd at the Light.

Facing Hungate, Scanlon laced a two-run double into the gap in right-center field, cutting the deficit to just one.

After the Cavaliers responded with a run of their own, the Hurricanes got a golden opportunity to take their first lead of the night in the seventh.

With bases loaded and no one out, Blake Cyr lined into an unassisted double play, slowing down UM’s momentum. The next batter, Cuvet, sent the home crowd into a frenzy, hitting his seventh home run of the season to take a 6-5 lead.

UM Friday starter Gage Ziehl was forced to battle against the Cavalier offense all night. In 5.2 innings of work, the righty gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out three Virginia batters.

Ziehl’s start to the season continues to be an uphill climb. In five starts this season, the sophomore has a 0-1 record and a 6.17 ERA in 23.1 innings of work. For comparison, Ziehl held a 6.40 ERA in his first five outings last season. The Hurricanes need more out of their Friday night starter if they want to match up against the best programs in the ACC.

Miami looks to build off their comeback victory with game two of the series against No. 13 Virginia at Mark Light Field. Lefty Rafe Schlesinger is scheduled to take the bump for the ‘Canes. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.