Miami Hurricanes win 1-0 over South Alabama to begin quest for Omaha

Miami, Florida – One run is all they needed as the Miami Hurricanes defeated the South Alabama Jaguars to open the Gainesville Regional in the quest for Omaha. Adrian Del Castillo’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning was the difference-maker. The U’s pitching staff was outstanding edging out their opponents in a formidable pitcher’s duel. Both teams were held to just four hits apiece. Alejandro Rosario impressed on the mound lasting into the seventh inning fanning five. From there Daniel Federman and Carson Palmquist kept the Jags hitless preserving the slim lead. The trifecta collectively dominated.

The win over South Alabama is an important step in more ways than one. UM crashed out of the ACC Baseball Championship losing both games in pool play. Although they enter the NCAA Division I tournament as the two seed in their respective regional, the hosts are the favorite. After those losses, the question became whether the Hurricanes were on the verge of another quick exit. For now, they are sitting in the driver’s seat starting on the right foot. It was their first postseason shutout since 2014.

Slim Pickings

The Canes quickly got to work, getting two runners in scoring position but Christian Del Castillo popped out to right field ending the first inning. There would be very few scoring opportunities.

Rosario cruised through the first four frames retiring eight consecutive batters behind an efficient defense churning numerous ground outs and a double play. Miami stranded two more in the fourth after drawing a pair of walks and a base hit. Christian got caught trying to steal second for out number two. It would factor into their failure to score. Raymond Gil got a free pass followed by Alex Toral singling to right. Tony Jenkins was unable to produce a run, however, grounding out to the shortstop.

The boys finally broke the deadlock in the fifth. With the bases loaded Adrian Del Castillo hit it deep enough to center field scoring Dominic Pitelli via the sacrifice fly. The Canes were unable to add more but succeeded in scoring the first and only run of the game.

South Alabama found its first opportunity when right fielder CJ Kayfus lost a fly ball in the sun resulting in a two-out triple for Michael Sandle. Rosario remained firmly in control striking out Hunter Stokes to shut the door in the sixth. UM turned to its bullpen during the seventh inning sending out Federman to protect the one-run lead. Fed retired both batters faced. Palmquist took over for the eighth and ninth making sure Miami came away with the victory. The Hurricanes will face the South Florida Bulls in the winner’s bracket Saturday afternoon. Earlier on Friday USF defeated the Florida Gators 5-3 sending the hosts to the elimination round. By Saturday night there will be one less team competing in the regional.

It is entirely possible UM does not play the Gators.

Game Notes

Alejandro Rosario: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K

Daniel Federman: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R

Carson Palmquist: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 14th Save of 2021

Both teams were 0-for-4 with RISP

LOB – USA: 7, UM:8

Only CJ Kayfus, Yohandy Morales, Alex Toral, and Dominic Pitelli were the only Miami batters that recorded a hit

Gus Bus Award

The trifecta of Rosario, Federman, and Palmquist can share this one. Their arms largely delivered this win. Take a bow, boys.

You’re Killing Me Smalls

I’m looking at you, Anthony Vilar. It’s true that the offense was very, very quiet but he hasn’t had a multi-hit game since the beginning of the Louisville series more than two weeks ago. He’s gotta step up. Vilar is not the only one either. The conference tournament was a major letdown.

Photo Credit | Canes Twitter

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