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Canes Baseball Returns to Top 25

Canes Baseball Returns to Top 25

by David Villavicencio

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami baseball program returned to the top 25 in two polls released Monday.

The Hurricanes came in at No. 21 in Collegiate Baseball’s NCAA Division I baseball poll and No. 24 in the Baseball America. Miami came in at No. 29 in the NCBWA poll and also received votes in the USA TODAY coaches poll and Perfect Game’s poll.

Miami (32-17, 20-15 ACC) went 3-1 last week, bouncing back from a midweek loss to FAU with a three-game sweep at then-No. 19 Louisville.

Raymond Gil led the way offensively for Miami on Thursday, as the fourth-year player hit two homers in a three-hit game to help the Canes beat the Cardinals, 6-1. Miami’s designated hitter hit the first of his two round-trippers in the top of the seventh when Gil crushed a leadoff homer that traveled 431 feet with a 106 miles-per-hour exit velocity before hitting the batter’s eye in center field.

Gil added his second homer of the night an inning later, depositing a two-run homer over the wall in left field to make it 5-1. The blast gave Gil the fourth two-homer game of his career and the second this season, as he hit two home runs at Pitt on April 9. Anthony Vilar capped a three-hit night with a two-out solo homer to right in the top of the ninth. The second baseman joined Gil as Hurricanes with three hits on Thursday.

Four Miami pitchers combined to blank the Cardinals in game two, while a big blast from Yohandy Morales provided the offense to help the Canes defeat Louisville, 2-0, on Friday. Jake Smith, Spencer Bodanza, Andrew Walters and Carson Palmquist combined to toss Miami’s third shutout of the 2021 season.

The Hurricanes made history on Saturday afternoon, becoming only the second team to ever sweep Louisville at Jim Patterson Stadium. With a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals, the Canes became the first team to sweep Louisville at home since ECU took the first three games ever played inside the ballpark on April 15-17, 2005.

Trailing 1-0 after three innings, Miami responded with a rally in the top of the fourth against Louisville starter Tate Kuehner. Vilar opened the inning with a hit by pitch and Morales followed with a single and advanced to second as a throw was late trying to get Vilar at third. Adrian Del Castillo tied the game with a base hit up the middle that pushed Vilar home, but a two-out, bases-loaded single from Jordan Lala drove in a pair and vaulted Miami ahead, 3-1.

Miami will be the No. 4 seed in the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship. The Canes are the top team in Pool D, joined by No. 5 Florida State (29-21, 20-16) and No. 9 Duke (28-20, 16-17). Miami is set to open play in the 2021 ACC baseball tournament at 11 a.m. on Thursday against Duke. The Hurricanes will face Florida State on Friday at 3 p.m. to conclude pool play.

The Canes has five players among those recognized by the Atlantic Coast Conference for their outstanding performances during the 2021 season.

Freshman Carson Palmquist was named to the All-ACC First Team, while redshirt junior Christian Del Castillo and sophomores Adrian Del Castillo and Anthony Vilar earned positions on the All-ACC Second Team. Palmquist and Morales were two of 12 players selected to the 2021 ACC All-Freshman Team.