No. 23 Canes Sweep FGCU with 13-4 Win
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Another outstanding day from Adrian Del Castillo powered the No. 23 Miami Hurricanes to a 13-4 victory over Florida Gulf Coast, clinching the season sweep of the Eagles.
Del Castillo had a career-best four RBIs for the fifth time this season, helping the Hurricanes (26-12) sweep FGCU (24-13) for the first time since 2016. The Canes scored double-digit runs for the 11th time in 2019. A year ago, Miami had just five games with 10 or more runs scored.
“He’s a great hitter, he’s a clutch hitter and the situation doesn’t faze him one bit,” head coach Gino DiMare said. “As a matter of fact, he is much better with guys on base. He’s a super kid that has great character, great make-up and works really hard. He’s a very tough kid mentally and in this game you have to be tough. Nothing fazes him.”
The freshman recorded his 11thmulti-RBI game of the season, which is the most by a Miami freshman since Zack Collins in 2014. His 48 RBI on the season are tied for first in the ACC.
“That’s crazy,” Del Castillo said. “RBIs are what help win games. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Miami wasted little time getting its offense going on Tuesday, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning against FGCU starter Sebastian Gruszecki.
Jordan Lala opened the game and walked before stealing second and advancing to third on an error by shortstop Eric Gonzalez that put runners at the corners for the Canes. Lala scored on a wild pitch and Anthony Vilar cruised home on an RBI double by Del Castillo.
FGCU scored a run off Miami starter Tyler Keysor in his final inning of work, as Jay Hayes’ third-inning sacrifice fly cut the Canes’ lead in half, 2-1. Keysor, who entered the game on a three-inning limit, allowed just one run on four hits while striking three batters to earn his fourth win of the season.
Del Castillo delivered again in the bottom of the sixth, ripping a two-out, two-run double down the line in right that drove in Lala and Vilar to give the Canes a 4-1 advantage.
“I was coaching third and I said, ‘God, I’m so lucky to coach a guy like this.’ I actually said it to myself when he hit the ball down the line that I get to sit here and coach this guy for two more years and what a treat it is.”
One batter later, Raymond Gil’s RBI single sent Del Castillo home to put the Hurricanes ahead by four runs.
“I’m just trying to see a pitch and hit it,” Gil said. “Just relaxing at the plate, like I have said before and I did a good job today of relaxing and I got a couple of hits.”
The Eagles got two runs back in the top of the sixth, as Marc Coffers doubled off Albert Maury, Jr. to drive home Joe Kinker and Gonzalez.
But Miami answered with an eight-run sixth inning that included RBIs from Gabe Rivera, Freddy Zamora, Del Castillo, Gil, JP Gates and Willy Escala. Del Castillo’s RBI single tied a career-high four RBI in the game, marking the fifth time the freshman reaches that milestone in his career.
“Del is one of the best hitters I’ve seen and played with,” Gil said of his former high school teammate. “His consistency through games where he will have a bad game and bounce right back. His ability to change his approach pitch-by-pitch and adjust to what a pitcher is doing to him, I think he is one of the best at that and it’s showing this year.”
FGCU scored a run in the top of the seventh, as Gonzalez beat out an infield single that allowed pinch runner Hunter Fornari to score. But that was all the offense the Eagles would muster, as Miami held them to just four runs on 11 hits.
“We’ve stressed the midweek games since the fall,” Gil said. “Gino has done a good job of emphasizing that every game is the most important game and we’ve done a good job of handling our midweek games and we did a good job tonight.”
With the win on Tuesday, Miami improved to 6-2 in midweek games on the season.
“We’re happy we scored a lot of runs,” DiMare said. “The offense continues to do a good job and the sixth inning was big. That kind of opened it up right there. All in all, we are happy to get a W and go into this huge weekend for us.”
The Hurricanes hit the road this week to Kentucky, where they will meet ACC foe Louisville for a three-game set. The Canes will face the No. 8 Cardinals on Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.