No. 22 Miami Notches First Win of Season
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The 22nd-ranked Miami Hurricanes baseball team picked up its first win of the season, downing the Penn State Nittany Lions, 10-2, Saturday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
“A much better outcome tonight,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “It starts on the mound. Karson Ligon threw really well. He mixed up his pitches well. The slider to me was his money pitch tonight. He did a good job of keeping his composure.”
The sophomore right-hander set the tone on the bump, cruising through the Nittany Lions (1-1) over the first 6 2/3 innings. Ligon surrendered only one run and scattered two hits in an 81-pitch outing.
“We went out there, got quick outs and got our hitters back in the dugout to hit,” Ligon said. “[Associate head coach/pitching coach] J.D. [Arteaga] called a great game. [Junior catcher Carlos Perez] did a great job back there, blocking and framing, and our hitters took that momentum into the dugout.
Miami (1-1) pounded four home runs off of Penn State pitching to back the Hurricanes’ Saturday starter.
Junior outfielder Zach Levenson led the offensive charge with his first career multi-homer performance. Levenson launched a 460-foot solo shot in the fifth before crushing a 445-foot two-run jack in the eighth to cap off the scoring.
“I was just trusting my ability and trusting the process that we’ve been going through in practice,” Levenson said. “Karson’s performance was great momentum for us hitters just relaxing up there at the plate.”
Sophomore outfielder Edgardo Villegas vaulted the hometown Hurricanes in front with a two-run jack in the first.
After Levenson pushed Miami’s lead to 6-0 in the middle innings, Perez joined the home run derby with a two-run round-tripper of his own in the seventh.
“We have some power guys in our lineup who can swing the bat with some authority,” DiMare said. “One swing of the bat can change the game.”
Miami tagged Penn State starter Daniel Ouderkirk for four runs, three earned, across the first 3 1/3 frames.
Overall, the Hurricanes mounted nine hits and drew as many walks in the win.
Miami and Penn State conclude the series Sunday with a rubber game at Mark Light Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.