Hurricanes Rally Late to Down Sharks

Hurricanes Rally Late to Down Sharks

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — It was well worth the wait.

After being held in check for seven innings, the Hurricanes’ offense exploded.

Miami rallied for seven runs in the eighth to top the LIU Sharks, 9-3, Friday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

“It was very similar to last Friday night,” head coach J.D. Arteaga said. “There was no panic in the dugout. We had some chances to score in the seventh, but we were able to break it open in the eighth.”

With the Hurricanes (4-1) trailing the Sharks (0-4) by a run heading into the bottom of the eighth, Miami found its magic stroke.

Seven of the first eight Canes reached base, setting the stage for the late heroics and final knockout blow.

“We did a good job of adjusting in the late innings,” rookie third baseman Daniel Cuvet said. “The energy, especially from the older guys, it shows. It fires us up and keeps us going.”

Veteran centerfielder Jacoby Long, who was making his first start of the year, tied the game at three with a bloop hit into right field.

Two batters later, junior left fielder Edgardo Villegas delivered the game-winning knock — a rocket back up the middle — to vault the Hurricanes ahead, 5-3.

Senior right fielder Lucas Costello followed with a run-scoring single before Cuvet punctuated the crooked frame with a three-run blast.

“He’s a special dude,” Villegas said about the heralded freshman. “He’s going to be the next face of the franchise. He’s going to be a really special player here when it’s all said and done.”

Right-hander Nick Robert (1-0) put on the finishing touches with two scoreless frames, earning his first collegiate victory.

LIU senior left-hander Jack Vandoran (0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs.

Miami starter Gage Ziehl scattered three tallies across seven innings to keep the Hurricanes within striking distance.

The Canes will look to clinch the series over the Sharks Saturday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Mark Light Field.

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