Gonzalez Shines in No. 6 Miami's Rout over Bison
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Renzo Gonzalez was ready.
Miami head coach Gino DiMare inserted the freshman into the lineup against North Dakota State Saturday evening.
And he delivered.
Gonzalez finished a double shy of the cycle and notched a career-high four RBI, guiding No. 6 Miami past the Bison, 16-1, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
“It seems every game we play, it’s somebody different,” DiMare said. “Renzo is a guy who knows how to play the game. He has great instincts, versatility and he’s a clutch hitter who can hit the ball all over the field. He has a little pop to him too. He’s a tough kid and had a big night for us.”
Gonzalez ripped a two-run triple down the right-field line in the first and sandwiched his third-inning base hit with a two-run blast in the seventh.
“I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunities,” said Gonzalez, who earned his eighth start Saturday. “As a freshman, I’m just getting a taste of what it’s like. I come in every day and just try and get better.”
The 5-foot-11, 198-pound outfielder helped the Hurricanes (34-12, 17-7 ACC) jump all over the Bison (25-15, 12-4 SUMMIT) in the early going.
Miami scored 10 runs across the first three innings, putting up a six spot in the opening frame and tallying four more in the third.
“It’s certainly been a road for success for us,” DiMare said. “We’re scoring a lot of runs early in the game. It takes a lot of pressure off everybody. At the end of the day, the offense put up some big numbers. We cranked out a lot of hits, had some home runs early right out of the gate. Overall, I’m very happy with how guys throughout the lineup are swinging the bat.”
Prior to Gonzalez’s first career triple, freshman outfielder Edgardo Villegas and sophomore infielders Yohandy Morales and Dominic Pitelli all launched home runs.
“Everybody is trying to execute and help the team win,” said Morales, whose 404-foot opposite-field bomb marked his co-team-best ninth round-tripper. “I was just trying to get a pitch middle-away and drive it the other way. I got it up in the air and the wind did the rest.”
First baseman CJ Kayfus and outfielder Jacob Burke padded Miami’s advantage in the third, plating runs with a sacrifice fly and a single, respectively.
Sporting a 10-1 cushion, the Hurricanes tacked on four tallies in the seventh and two more in the eighth, ballooning the lead.
After a 22-0 victory Friday, Miami’s largest shutout win in nearly seven years, the Hurricanes have outscored the Bison, 38-1, to secure the series.
“We’re just following a plan,” Morales said. “This is a team win and we’re going to keep battling and keep working. Every player we put in there is going to battle their behinds off. This is a great ball club we have.”
Miami starter Karson Ligon (6-3) navigated through traffic over five frames, limiting North Dakota State to one unearned run. The freshman allowed a base runner to reach in each inning, but stranded nine Bison along the way.
Relievers Ronaldo Gallo, Jordan Dubberly and Rafe Schlesinger teamed up to retire 12 of the final 14 batters, combining for seven strikeouts.
The Hurricanes will go for their seventh series sweep Sunday. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. at Mark Light Field.