UM blanks FIU for second straight mercy rule victory


Miami, Florida – What began as a pitchers’ duel suddenly became one-sided as UM shutout FIU 10-0 in their second consecutive mercy rule win. Neither team managed to score despite some opportunities through the first five innings. Then everything changed. The Canes broke the stalemate in the sixth sending 10 batters to the plate and knocking in five runs on four hits. They matched their run production after the seventh-inning stretch abruptly ending the game. Nine of their 11 hits came in the last two innings.

“I apologize I forgot to tell everybody the 10-run rule was put into effect at the umpires’ meeting and I didn’t tell anybody,” coach Gino DiMare said. “Which is probably I’m not gonna tell anybody from now on.”

Miami also mercy-ruled Presbyterian 12-2 in eight innings on Sunday. For the first time this season, Florida International was unable to score. UM improves to 32-16 overall (14-10, ACC) with an impressive 26-4 record at home. The Miami Hurricanes will now travel to Pittsburgh to play another Panthers team before returning home to play FIU one last time at FIU Baseball Stadium. They are three-for-three versus their crosstown foes.

Calm before the storm

Florida International nearly struck first in the third when they had two runners in scoring position. With one out, Craig Palidar singled followed by a ground-rule double to center field from Roylan Quevedo. Canes starter Ronaldo Gallo dug himself out of trouble thanks in part to his teammates. Blake Cyr made a terrific play catching ex-Cane Mike Rosario’s liner. Reinforced by the guys behind him, Gallo got Dante Girardi to chase a high heater striking him out to end the threat.

Miami had their own opportunity in the fourth. Hollywood doubled to left center with two outs in the inning. He advanced to third on a wild pitch before Dominic Pitelli drew the four-pitch walk. Lorenzo Carrier fouled out unable to break the deadlock.

Tempest at The Light

Edgardo Villegas walked to start the big inning. FIU went with a pitching change replacing Cameron Knox with David Eckaus. Zach Levenson, last meeting’s walk-off hero, doubled down the left-field line knocking in Villegas. Cyr plated deuces with a single advancing to second on a throwing error by the center-fielder Alec Sanchez. After Eckaus beaned Pitelli, Florida International went with another change tapping Richie Pena. Miami loaded the bases for CJ Kayfus who drove in another pair of runs with a single to center field.

Miami returned with an encore in the seventh. Evan Chenier toed the rubber giving up a hit to Yohandy Morales. He then HBP’ed Levenson that was followed up with a single by Cyr to again load the bases. Pitelli RBI singled to right field, Carrier hit a two-run double to right-center, and Carlos Perez in his first and only hit of the night also singled down the left-field line scoring both Pitelli and Carrier to win the game.

Impressions

I figured UM would win over FIU but not via a mercy rule. Folks were surprised when the announcement came that the game was effectively over. The Canes were very slow for the first half of the contest relying on a solid outing from their pitchers. Ronaldo Gallo, who has struggled all season, tossed three-scoreless innings scattering three hits and punching out one. The righty worked the zone and consistently got ahead of the hitters.

Ben Chestnutt kept up the great work throwing three frames of his own without allowing a hit and striking out four. Carlos Lequerica pitched a clean seventh which included a double play. This was one of UM’s best defensive performances. Fans saw some terrific plays. For example, Zach Levenson made a diving catch in the second inning. Those two double plays, especially the one in the seventh that became FIU’s last gasp offensively, really helped the Canes. Speaking of, kudos to Bryan Loriga who made the bare-handed grab off Dom’s bunt in the second inning throwing him out at first base.

In short, The U took care of business and did what they had to do. Next up is Pitt. On a final note, Karson Ligon is still on the mend and will not be available this weekend.

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