Miami topped NC State on Saturday by a score of 6-4 to even the ACC series between the two squads at a game a piece.
For the second straight game, Jordan Lala led off the game by getting hit with a pitch while down in the count, and for the second straight game he came around to score, this time on an RBI groundout by Yohandy Morales. Adrian Del Castillo would follow that with an RBI single to put the Hurricanes up 2-0 early on State.
Just like the first game of the series, NC State would respond quickly. Austin Murr led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a stand-up double and Tyler McDonough followed with a no-doubter home run to right-center field to knot the game at 2-2.
The game would remain at 2-2 until the 5th inning when Miami made a two-out rally to plate a pair of runs. After two quick outs, Hurricanes 9-hole hitter Dominic Pitelli reached on a single and then came around to score one batter later on a Lala double. Anthony Vilar followed Lala with a stand-up double of his own to extend the Miami lead back to two.
NC State was able to cut the deficit by one in the bottom half of the frame as Vojtech Mensik reached on an infield single, stole 2nd base with two outs, and then scored on an infield single by McDonough.
The Wolfpack tied the game in the bottom of the 6th with the help of replay. Jonny Butler led off the inning with a single, but it appeared the inning ended on a Noah Soles 4-6-3 double play. Upon review based on a challenge from Elliott Avent, Pitelli was off the bag at 2nd base when he caught the ball, so Butler remained on 2nd and the inning continued. JT Jarrett then lined a single over Pitelli to score Butler from 2nd and tie the game once more.
Sadly, that was the last offensive output of the day for State.
Miami plated a run in the top of the 8th on a fielder’s choice. Morales led off the inning with a ground rule double down the right field line and moved to third base via a wild pitch. With runners on the corners and one out, Christian Del Castillo bounced a ball to Murr at first base. With the ball taking Murr right next to the bag, he stepped on first and fired home, but was not in time to get Morales.
The Hurricanes tacked on the final run of the game in the top of the 9th when CJ Kayfus collected his first collegiate hit: a lead off solo home run.
Vilar (3-5, 2B, R, RBI) and Pitelli (2-4, R) each collected multiple hits for Miami while Lala (1-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, HBP) and Morales (1-3, 2B, R, RBI, HBP) each reached base safely twice. Anthony Arguelles (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K) earned the win in relief with a scoreless 7th inning. Carson Palmquist (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K) pitched the final two frames for the save for Miami.
McDonough (2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI) was the lone Wolfpack player with multiple hits on the day, although Murr (1-4, 2B, R, BB), Butler (1-2, R, BB, HBP), and Devonte Brown (1-3, BB, SB) each reached base safely multiple times.
Canaan Silver (3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) was saddled with the loss for the Pack. He came on in relief of starter Sam Highfill (4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 5 K), who was great at times in this one. Dalton Feeney (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) pitched the 9th for State.
The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:00pm.