The ninth-ranked Miami Hurricanes left Alex Rodriguez Park on Friday night unable to figure out Notre Dame’s pitching staff. The Irish held the Hurricanes to just five hits on their way to a shutout victory to tie the series.
But Saturday afternoon’s regular-season finale told a different story. Following the squad’s poor Friday night showing, the Hurricanes had their bats going early and often, taking the rubber match 16-7 over the 14th-ranked Irish.
CJ Kayfus drove the second pitch he saw down the third base line past the diving Jack Brannigan to lead off the Hurricanes’ half of the first inning. Two batters later, Maxwell Romero Jr. stepped up and sent a 2-2 pitch over the left-center field wall to give the Hurricanes an early 2-0 lead.
Miami’s offense did not stop there. A Zach Levenson two-run home run followed by an RBI single from shortstop Dominic Pitelli ended Irish starting pitcher Jack Findlay’s day early. Ariel Garcia’s solo home run capped off a seven run first inning for the Hurricanes.
Following the series win over Notre Dame (33-13, 16-11 Atlantic Coast Conference), Miami looks to solidify its spot hosting an NCAA Tournament regional. With 16 regional host sites up for grabs, a strong ACC tournament showing will go a long way for the Hurricanes’ resumé.
Both Miami and Notre Dame head to Charlotte, North Carolina for the ACC Tournament at Truist Field starting Tuesday.
Miami, (39-16, 20-10 Atlantic Coast Conference), will enter the ACC tournament as the one or two seed, depending on the outcome of Duke vs. Virginia Tech. Miami was booted early from the ACC tournament last season by the Duke Blue Devils, who would go on to win the conference.
Eight of Miami’s nine starting hitters found themselves in the hit column. The Hurricanes’ six home runs is the most the team has hit in a single game since June 2, 2019 vs. Central Michigan.
The Hurricanes added two runs in the third and fourth, including Romero Jr.’s second home run of the game, and five more runs in the seventh.
Miami’s offensive barrage forced Notre Dame deep into their bullpen. It took the Irish nine arms to get through their eight innings on the mound.
Miami starter Alejandro Rosario (2-3) allowed five earned runs on five hits, while striking out three in 4 2/3 innings of work. Rosario found himself in trouble allowing a Brannigan three-run home run in the fourth as well as an RBI single and wild pitch score in the fifth.
However, the Miami bullpen shut the door allowing just two runs over the game’s final 4 1/3 innings. Ronaldo Gallo (3-0) earned the victory throwing 1/3 an inning of scoreless relief.
Notre Dame’s Jack Findlay (5-2) picked up the loss lasting just two-thirds of an inning, allowing six earned runs on five hits, striking out one in the process.
The Hurricanes end the regular season winners in 10 of their 14 weekend series’ and 9-3 in weekday matchups as they gear up for postseason play.