No. 3 Hurricanes Hammer Four Homers in Win Over Georgia Tech
ATLANTA, Ga. — April showers bring May flowers.
After dropping the first two games of the series to Georgia Tech, the third-ranked Miami Hurricanes salvaged the series Sunday in an emphatic fashion.
Miami mashed four home runs and limited one of the most potent lineups in the nation, buzzing past the Yellow Jackets, 13-2, at Mac Nease Baseball Park.
“The home runs were big, there’s no doubt,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “It’s good to see us score and get ahead early. We did a better job of being more selective and getting good pitches to drive.”
The Hurricanes (32-12, 17-7 ACC) scored in four of the first five innings, storming out to a 6-1 advantage over Georgia Tech (27-18, 12-12 ACC).
Junior catcher Maxwell Romero Jr. opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first.
One inning later, freshman designated hitter Renzo Gonzalez doubled Miami’s lead with an opposite-field extra-base hit.
The Hurricanes pushed their cushion to three in the frame, capitalizing on an error by Georgia Tech shortstop Jadyn Jackson.
The Yellow Jackets chipped away at the deficit with a tally in the third, but they wouldn’t get closer.
In the fourth, the Hurricane home run derby began.
Second baseman Henry Wallen whacked his first career homer, smacking a first-pitch fastball into the trees beyond the right-field wall.
“I knew it was gone off the bat,” Wallen said. “It felt good to help my team. I was just trying to attack the first pitch. I haven’t really been doing that. As I got in the dugout, everybody was showing me love.”
In the fifth, Romero Jr. turned on an inside fastball, launching a two-run bomb into the shrubbery, as well.
“We were aggressive and we attacked,” said Romero Jr., who finished the weekend with three home runs and six RBI. “We came back and fought. It shows a lot about our character and shows that we have each other’s backs.”
Despite already leading by five, the Hurricanes’ offensive outburst was just getting started.
In the seventh, sophomore third base Yohandy Morales, who recorded his second career four-hit game, roped an RBI double to deep left center, extending Miami’s cushion to 7-1.
Georgia Tech got a run back in the bottom half, but the Hurricanes put the nail in the coffin in the final frame.
Sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke singled through the left side, driving in Morales from second to spark the six-run ninth.
Two batters later, right fielder Mike Rosario kept the line moving with an RBI knock of his own.
Freshman Gaby Gutierrez drew a walk, setting the stage for fellow rookie Ariel Garcia.
Garcia crushed a belt-high heater over the left-field fence for a three-run jack, ballooning the Hurricanes’ lead to 12-2.
One pitch after Garcia’s first career dinger, sophomore first baseman CJ Kayfus capped off the home run barrage with a solo shot.
“When we get good pitches to hit, our guys can do damage with those pitches,” DiMare said. “It’s all about plate discipline and not chasing pitches out of the zone,”
Miami’s 13 runs on 16 hits were more than enough for starter Alejandro Rosario.
Rosario (2-2) tossed five innings of one-run baseball, striking out six along the way. The right-hander retired six of the first seven batters he faced and stranded seven Yellow Jackets over his last three innings.
“I thought he threw really well,” DiMare said. “His command was really good and kept the ball down. He was able to work both sides of the plate, and that’s against a very good offensive team.”
Georgia Tech hurler Chance Huff (3-3) was tagged with the loss after surrendering six runs, five earned, across the first five frames.
After the weekend road swing in Atlanta, the Hurricanes head home to host North Dakota State for a three-game set. The series opener is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Mark Light Field.
“We can fight,” Wallen said. “Every team goes through this. We’re a tough team and we bounced back.”