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Perez Lifts Hurricanes to First Victory Under Arteaga

Perez Lifts Hurricanes to First Victory Under Arteaga

CORAL GABLES, Fla. —  The University of Miami baseball team opened the J.D. Arteaga era in dramatic style Friday evening.

In fitting fashion for the Hurricanes’ all-time winningest pitcher, Miami tapped into some Mark Light Magic.

Carlos Perez delivered the walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Hurricanes (1-0) to an 8-7 victory over the NJIT Highlanders (0-1).

“That was a fun game,” Arteaga said following his first win as head coach. “That kind of showed you a little bit of what our team is all about…There was never any panic in the dugout. We just kept chugging along and playing our game. Just a great team win.”

With the game knotted up at seven heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Cardiac Canes came out for the first time in 2024.

Highly touted freshman Daniel Cuvet led off the frame with a single to left field.

Veterans Jacoby Long and Dorian Gonzalez Jr. both followed with bunt hits to set the stage for Perez.

“It felt great,” Perez said. “I had a walk-off towards the end of last season, but this one was way better. First game of the season and we came through.”

After the Hurricanes stormed out to a 5-0 lead through three innings, the Highlanders responded in a frenzy.

NJIT countered with seven unanswered runs, scoring four tallies in the fourth and three times in the fifth.

But Arteaga’s club rallied to secure the Opening Day victory.

“It’s those little things that we practice all year for,” Gonzalez Jr. said. “ It says so much about the work that we’ve put in this year.”

Seventh-year graduate student Drew Dwyer (1-0) earned the win in his Miami debut. Meanwhile, NJIT left-hander Holden de Jong (0-1) was tagged with the loss.

With the win, the Hurricanes are now 17-3 on Opening Day since joining the ACC ahead of the 2005 campaign.

Miami and NJIT meet again Saturday, as the two sides square off in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at Mark Light Field.

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