No. 22 Miami Records First Shutout of Season

No. 22 Miami Records First Shutout of Season

by Josh White

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — The Hurricanes’ key to their early-season success has been no secret.

Home runs.

But Saturday night, No. 22 Miami relied on more than just its bats.

Starter Karson Ligon and fifth-year senior Carlos Lequerica teamed up for the Hurricanes’ first shutout of the year, blanking the Dartmouth Big Green, 6-0, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“It starts on the mound,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “The pitching was fantastic, starting with Ligon throwing seven innings. It’s what we’ve been talking about, having our starters be efficient and go deeper into games…Just a very, very excellent performance from him, as good as I’ve seen him throw.”

Miami (6-1) got seven dazzling frames from Ligon, who surrendered just four hits. The 6-foot-2, 206-pound sophomore punched out six hitters and issued no free passes.

Ligon faced no more than four batters in any inning, tossing 69 of his 97 pitches for strikes. With seven scoreless, the right-hander matched his third-longest career outing, trailing only a pair of eight-inning efforts in his rookie campaign.

Lequerica followed Ligon and struck out four across two innings to preserve the shutout and help the Hurricanes secure the series victory over the Big Green (0-2).

The two hurlers combined for 10 strikeouts and zero walks, while yielding just one extra-base hit.

As they’ve shown through the first week of the season, the Hurricanes’ power was on full display.

Sophomore second baseman Dorian Gonzalez, Jr. demolished a three-run dinger in the second and junior catcher Carlos Perez socked a solo shot in the sixth to bookend the six-run output.

In the fourth, Perez and junior shortstop Dominic Pitelli recorded back-to-back triples before sophomore left fielder Edgardo Villegas plated Pitelli with a sacrifice fly to tally two in the frame.

Perez, who homered for the second consecutive game, finished a double shy of the cycle. Overall, nine Hurricanes totaled hits in Miami’s sixth straight win.

The Hurricanes will close out a season-opening eight-game homestand Sunday. First pitch between Miami and Dartmouth is slated for 1 p.m. at Mark Light Field.

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