🚨 The Canes face the Gators this weekend, get your ⚾ tickets now! Buy Here »

Close Topbar
Hurricanes Begin ACC Action with No. 19 NC State

Hurricanes Begin ACC Action with No. 19 NC State

THE MATCHUP

•  The Miami Hurricanes will welcome the 19th-ranked NC State Wolfpack to Coral Gables for the opening weekend of ACC play.

  The Hurricanes lead the all-time series over the Wolfpack, 37-21, including a 20-8 edge at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

•  Miami and NC State last met in the 2022 ACC Baseball Championship, but haven’t faced off at Mark Light Field since 2019. 

•  Since Gino DiMare was elevated to head coach in 2019, Miami boasts the best conference win percentage (.622) in the ACC.

•  Under DiMare’s watch, the Hurricanes have tallied the third-best overall mark in the league, totaling a 134-70 (.657) record.

•  Miami sophomore right-handed hurler Karson Ligon (2-0, 3.20 ERA) gets the ball in the series opener, opposing NC State redshirt junior righty Logan Whitaker (2-0, 2.81 ERA).

•  Across his first three starts, Ligon leads the Hurricanes in wins and opponent batting average (.149), while tallying the second-best ERA among qualified pitchers.

MIAMI MASHERS

•  As of March 9, the Hurricanes are fourth in the ACC and tied for ninth nationally with 29 home runs.

•  Miami has circled the bases in 11 of 13 games, totaling nine multi-homer performances along the way.

•  The Hurricanes are on pace for 123 homers during the regular season, which would be the second-most by a Miami team in a single season.

•  Eleven different Hurricanes have left the yard, with junior Yohandy Morales and freshman Blake Cyr blasting a co-team best five round-trippers.

YOYO MAKES US GOGO

 Junior third baseman Yohandy Morales is one of the most prolific power hitters in the nation.

 Morales is tied for fourth in the ACC in hits (22), seventh in average (.458) and tied for 10th in home runs (5).

 A year ago, Morales tallied a team-best 64 runs, 17 doubles, three triples, 18 homers, 59 RBI, 156 total bases and a .650 slugging percentage.

•  The Miami native became the first Hurricane since Zack Collins in 2015 and 2016 to blast double-digit dingers in back to-back seasons.

•  An All-ACC Second Team selection, Morales notched a .329 average, the third-best mark among the Hurricanes.

•  Throughout his career, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound slugger has had a flair for the dramatic, as 18 of his 34 home runs have either been game-tying, go-ahead or game-winning jacks.

•  During the 2022 Coral Gables Regional, Morales became only the fourth Hurricane all-time with a trio of homers in a single postseason game, joining Lale Esquivel (1998), Kevin Brown (2001) and Scott Lawson (2010).

•  Following his star-studded sophomore season, he was chosen to represent his country as a member of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team.

•  As a rookie in 2021, Morales garnered All-ACC Freshman Team and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors after mounting a .284 average, 11 round-trippers and a .874 OPS. In the postseason, he paced the Hurricanes with a .444 average and was named to the Gainesville All-Regional Team.

COLLIN JOSEPH KAYFUS

 Junior CJ Kayfus has built a reputation as one of the best hitters in the ACC

 Kayfus has reached base safely in 75 of the last 78 contests, dating back to 2021.

 The 2022 Hurricanes MVP led Miami with a .366 average, 87 hits, 38 walks, a .460 on-base percentage, 16 stolen bases and 27 multi-hit games.

 Within the conference, the All-ACC second team first baseman finished eighth in average, tied for eighth in hits, tied for ninth in stolen bases and 11th in on-base percentage.

 During his freshman campaign, Kayfus hit .298 with three homers and six RBI, playing in 40 games, including 10 starts.

 The Wellington, Fla., native was named to the 2021 All-Gainesville Team after hitting .308 in three contests.

ARE YOU CYRIOUS?

•  Freshman Blake Cyr has burst onto the college baseball scene across his first dozen games.

  As of March 9, Cyr is one of three freshmen in the nation with five home runs and 22 RBI.

•  The rookie is tied for third in the ACC in RBI and 10th in homers.

 In Miami’s 14-6 win over then-No. 6 Florida, Cyr finished one RBI shy of the Hurricanes’ freshman single-game record set by Randy Guerra (8) in 1976.

  Heading into the 2023 campaign, the Windermere, Fla., native was ranked as the 11th best freshman in the ACC, according to D1Baseball.

FIRE ME UP, WALT

•  Closer Andrew Walters enters the 2023 campaign as a consensus preseason All-American and National Player of the Year candidate.

•  The right-hander collected first-team All-America recognition from Baseball America, D1Baseball, Perfect Game and the NCBWA, while he received second-team plaudits from the ABCA/Rawlings and Collegiate Baseball.

•  Walters was one of 10 finalists for the 2022 NCBWA Stopper of the Year award after pacing the ACC and finishing fifth nationally with 14 saves.

•  The 6-foot-4, 222-pound hurler tallied a 1.65 ERA, 62 strikeouts and just six walks across 32.2 frames.

•  Among pitchers who threw at least 25 innings at the  Division I level last year, Walters leads all returning Power Five arms in WHIP (0.58) and opponent batting average (.116).

•  In his career, the Palm Bay, Florida, native has totaled a 1.41 ERA with 112 punchouts over 63 2/3 frames.