Baseball Scores 14 Runs in Rout of St. Thomas

Baseball Scores 14 Runs in Rout of St. Thomas
By Camron Ghorbi

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Freshman Greg Veliz delivered another effective start, the Hurricanes offense exploded in the middle innings, and host Miami topped visiting St. Thomas, 14-2, Wednesday at Mark Light Field.

Veliz (3-2) went at least five innings for the fifth straight start and surrendered just five hits.

The Key West, Fla., native struck out six batters in 5.1 innings, allowing just two runs across 93 pitches before being relieved in the sixth.

Trailing 1-0 in the early going, Miami (13-16) scored 10 runs from the fourth through sixth innings to take control of the contest.

The Hurricanes offense drew 16 walks compared to just four strikeouts and out-hit the Bobcats 8-5 in front of 2,446 fans.

Sophomore Romy Gonzalez finished the night 2-for-5 with his team-leading sixth home run of the season.

“It was nice to score some runs and being able to relax,” head coach Jim Morris said. “A lot of guys got some big hits, of course Romy had a big night with a homer, two RBI and two hits.”

10 different players recorded at least one walk, with four recording multiple free passes, including a career-high four from junior designated hitter Alex Sanchez.

Gonzalez and junior Michael Burns (2-for-3) recorded multi-hit games for Miami, while four players scored multiple runs.

“It was a great night. We got the ‘W,’ and whenever we win, it’s always fun,” Gonzalez said. “The guys seemed to be a lot looser, just having fun, and I think that’s what we have to go back to.”

Redshirt senior Edgar Michelangeli tied the game when he connected on an RBI single to left-center to score Burns, and after a St. Thomas pitching change, junior James Davison put Miami ahead, 2-1, when he drew a bases-loaded walk from reliever Chris Rodriguez.

Junior Brandon Gali then dropped a two-RBI single to center to push Miami’s lead to 4-1, and on a bad throw from Bobcats outfielder Oscar Rivera, Davison scored the fifth and final run of the inning.

St. Thomas starter Rene Arauz (2-2) lasted just 3.2 innings. He was charged with four hits and four runs across 60 pitches, with three walks and three strikeouts.

Redshirt senior Christopher Barr pushed Miami’s lead to 6-1 with an RBI groundout in the fifth, and a four-run sixth that included a two-run homer from Gonzalez made it 10-2 in favor of Miami.

The Hurricanes added four insurance runs in the seventh, with the first two coming on bases-loaded walks from Sanchez and Michelangeli. A dropped flyball in left made it 13-1, and a sacrifice fly from junior Hunter Tackett marked Miami’s 14th and final run of the night.

Four pitched combined for the final 3.2 innings. Freshman Albert Maury, Jr., recorded the final two outs in the sixth, redshirt sophomore Keven Pimentel pitched a scoreless seventh, and freshman Daniel Rivero struck out five batters in the final two innings.

“I thought all our pitchers threw well tonight. That was good. Our pitching has been good, we just haven’t been able to put it together,” Morris said.

Rivero became the first pitcher since Cesar Carrillo in 2005 to strike out the side on just nine pitches when he did so in the eighth inning.

“He looked like Nolan Ryan there in the eighth inning. I’ve never seen him throw that well,” Morris said. “He’s a young guy. That’s the opportunity that guys get when you score a few runs. Tonight was a lot of fun.”

The Hurricanes return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Saturday for their series opener against visiting Duke. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 7 p.m.

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