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Hurricanes Sweep 17th-Ranked Hokies

Hurricanes Sweep 17th-Ranked Hokies

by Josh White

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami flexed its muscles.

After the Hurricanes walked-off the Hokies in the ninth Friday evening, Miami mashed Saturday to sweep No. 17 Virginia Tech.

The Hurricanes hammered the Hokies, picking up a dominant 21-6 victory in the opening game of the doubleheader, before rallying for a 12-9 win in the nightcap at Mark Light Field.

“I’m proud of our players,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “A lot of guys did a lot of positive things today. Sweeping a doubleheader doesn’t happen very often. It’s extremely hard to do, but you’ve got to give a lot of credit to our hitters. We’ve got some guys cooking right now.”

In the first contest, the Hurricanes (14-6, 5-1 ACC) homered seven times, the fourth-most in a single game in program history.

Fifth-year senior Dario Gomez, juniors CJ Kayfus, Zach Levenson, Carlos Perez and Dominic Pitelli and sophomores Dorian Gonzalez, Jr. and Gaby Gutierrez all left the yard, as Miami mounted a season-high 21 runs and 23 hits.

The Hurricanes scored in each of their final six trips to the plate, including a 10-run seventh, highlighted by three home runs.

Overall, Miami hit .511 over the first nine frames Saturday, with 13 Hurricanes recording hits in the victory.

Reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Gage Ziehl (3-2) struck out eight Hokies over five innings of one-run baseball to earn the win.

“Honestly, I’m just super excited to see that we’re playing the baseball that we all knew we could,” Kayfus said. “It’s just awesome to be a part of this team. Everybody has each other’s backs.”

After dropping the first two game of the series, Virginia Tech (12-7, 1-5 ACC) took an early lead in the finale.

The Hokies jumped ahead 6-0 through 3 ½ frames, but Miami didn’t waver.

The Hurricanes outscored Virginia Tech, 12-3, over the final 4 ½ innings, capped off by a six-run eighth.

Trailing 9-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Miami’s offense broke out.

The first seven Hurricanes reached base, with Gutierrez delivering the game-winning RBI double.

“This is what we come here for,” Gutierrez said. “We’re dogs and we’re here to fight. There’s no quit in this team.”

Right-hander Alejandro Torres collected his second win of the year, tossing two frames out of the bullpen. Meanwhile, closer Andrew Walters registered the save with a scoreless ninth.

Kayfus spearhead Saturday’s sweep, homering three times and plating seven runs in nine at-bats.

“I can’t imagine a hitter more confident than him in the country right now,” DiMare said of Miami’s first baseman. “He can hit it all over the field. He’s pulling the ball, hitting the ball up the middle and hitting it to left field. That’s his MO and that’s what he does. That’s why he’s one of the better hitters in the country.”

Across the 18-inning doubleheader, the Hurricanes totaled a .451 average, 33 runs and 10 homers.

Following its first ACC sweep of the season, Miami closes its four-game homestand Wednesday against FAU. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Mark Light Field.

To keep up with the University of Miami baseball team on social media, follow @CanesBaseball on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.