Yohandy Morales hits 2 HRs as Hurricanes eliminate Louisiana

Yohandy Morales Hurricanes Louisiana

Miami, Florida – Yohandy Morales powered a pair of home runs helping the Hurricanes stay alive against Louisiana forcing a rematch with the Texas Longhorns. Alejandro Rosario tossed a new career-high 114 pitches in six innings of work. Pipo punched out six allowing four runs (three earned) sprinkling seven hits.

Yoyo went 4-for-5 knocking in three and scoring thrice. A day after a frustrating 4-1 loss to the Longhorns, UM mashed four homers en route to the crucial 8-5 victory. The Hurricanes leaped out in front with three runs in the first but fielding mistakes kept the Ragin’ Cajuns in the game.

The two teams traded runs midway through the battle with The U pulling away late. However, the job’s not done. They will face Texas once more in need of a win to force one last game on Monday to decide who advances out of the Coral Gables regional.

Elimination game

Blake Cyr also flashed his might, barreling one to left-center for the early 3-0 lead. His 17th dinger of the year tied him second all-time for most home runs by a Hurricanes freshman. Carson Roccaforte robbed Morales of an RBI hit in the next inning. Yoyo had fouled one off his leg knocking him down for a brief time. After he was able to get up, Morales rocketed one dead center but was denied.

The Cajuns scored twice on defensive flubs. Hollywood’s throwing error in the second cost the Canes a run. Louisiana took advantage of the miscue culminating in a CJ Willis RBI single. The Ragin’ Cajuns scored again in the third on a wild pitch by Rosario as they chipped away at the deficit.

Miami responded with two runs in the fifth. A failed pickoff attempt resulted in a throwing error advancing Edgardo Villegas and CJ Kayfus to second and third respectively. Morales knocked in both with an RBI single as Villegas sneaked home on the play. Yoyo advanced to second on a fielding error by left-fielder Conor Higgs. When the dust settled Miami led 5-2.

Louisiana did not go quietly, however. Heath Hood poked one up the middle past a diving Dominic Pitelli scoring Kyle DeBarge. With two runners in scoring position, Conor Higgs hit a chopper to Kayfus. He thought about throwing it home but settled for the unassisted out with Roccaforte crossing the plate to make it a one-run game.

Trading blows

The two adversaries went back and forth with the long ball in the latter innings of the contest.

Yoyo lifted his 18th of 2023 launching it straight to center field for the critical insurance run at the top of the seventh making it 6-4 Miami. Morales’ bomb was countered by Caleb Stelly knocking his first homer of the season. He got a hold of Andrew Walters’ pitch and clobbered it to left field. Jacoby Long said not so fast to the Ragin’ Cajuns homering to the left side at the top of the ninth.

Yohandy then hammered his second round tripper of the day putting his stamp of authority. The All-American closer Walters finished off the Cajuns for the hard-fought win.

Impressions

Pipo was great on the mound. Half of the runs scored on his watch were mistakes by the defense behind him. The bullpen continues its excellence largely shutting down opposing hitting. The team returned to their signature strength making those 9 hits count. Yohandy Morales and Hollywood led the charge for the Hurricanes despite the bottom of the order struggling at the plate against Louisiana. In fact, the five through nine slots of the starting lineup recorded only one hit. Fortunately, it was Long’s solo shot in the ninth. The backend’s first two trips were all strikeouts.

Miami is halfway through its longest day but they’re not out of the woods yet. Coach Gino DiMare announced Ronaldo Gallo is the starter for the rematch with Texas. The good news is much of the relief corps remains fresh. The bad news? The Longhorns are rested. Here we go.

📸Credit: Kathleen Hitchcock

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