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Canes Mash No. 25 FAU in Midweek Win

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A strong pitching performance and big game by the bats propelled No. 5 Miami to victory over No. 25 FAU in the Hurricanes’ first midweek game of the season.

Miami (6-4, 3-3 ACC) exploded for a seven-run inning that helped the Canes start the week off with a dominant victory over the Owls before a sold-out crowd of 610 fans inside Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“I’m just pleased with the game,” head coach Gino DiMare said. “I think that’s three games now where we’ve played just much better baseball, cleaner games. We pitched good, played pretty solid defense — had a few hiccups there in the infield but we also made some nice plays in terms of double plays — and it was nice to see us swinging the bat. We were swinging the bat coming out of NC State a little bit there at the end and it’s nice to see us carry that over.”

The Owls’ offense got on the scoreboard in the first against Miami starter Jake Garland, as leadoff hitter Wilfredo Alvarez tripled to right and scored on a sacrifice fly by B.J. Murray that made it 1-0.

“When they when they scored, I don’t think anybody really freaked out or anything like that,” Adrian Del Castillo said. “We know that we hit and we have a good hitting team. We have to score to win and it was 1-0 until like what the third inning and in the fourth inning we started doing better. But nobody freaked out. We just stayed in our circle and we just got good hits.”

But the Canes offense manufactured two runs in the bottom of the third, as Anthony Vilar and Yohandy Morales each had RBI groundouts to put Miami ahead, 2-1.

An inning later, Christian Del Castillo led off the fourth with a double to left and scored on a one-out double by CJ Kayfus. After walking Dominic Pitelli, FAU starter T. J. Stuart was lifted in favor of Hunter Cooley, but the lefty ran into trouble immediately, hitting Tony Jenkins to load the bases and uncorking a wild pitch that allowed Kayfus to score and make it 4-1.

Miami added five more runs in the inning, capped by a three-run bomb by Adrian Del Castillo that put the Hurricanes ahead by eight.

“It was awesome,” Del Castillo said of the big inning. “It’s been a while since we’ve gotten our bats hot like that as a team and it’s always fun. It makes the game a lot [more fun] and a lot faster, too.”

Kayfus added a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the fifth to get Miami to 10 runs at the midway point of the game. An inning later, Vilar singled home Jordan Lala to give Miami a 10-run lead, 11-1.

Right-hander Jordan Dubberly took the mound in the top of the seventh, replacing Miami’s Jake Garland after an impressive first career start. The right-hander held a potent FAU lineup to just one run on three hits over six innings, striking out three batters to earn his first win of the 2021 season.

“I’m not a very big strikeout guy so I’ve just got to work in my zones and pitch the way pitch and let them get themselves out most of the time,” Garland said. “I felt really good about where my pitches were. Fastball and changeup were working so I felt really good today.”

FAU added a run in the eighth, but could not make up the large deficit on Tuesday night.

The Hurricanes will host Wake Forest this weekend in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m.