Miami baseball wins NCAA opener behind 3 Yohandy Morales HRs

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 28: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 28: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Miami baseball team overcame a 4-1 deficit after an inning and a half behind three Yohandy Morales home runs to defeat Canisius 11-6 in their NCAA Tournament opener on Saturday night. Canisius and Miami began playing at 5:30 PM after three schedule changes following multiple days of torrential rain.

The Golden Griffins and Hurricanes were initially scheduled for noon on Friday. The game was pushed up to 10 AM on Friday before getting rained out. Canisius and Miami were scheduled for noon and then 5:00 PM ET on Saturday before finally getting the game in. Most of the Miami baseball rally came in the late innings.

Morales hit his first HR in the bottom of the first to bring Miami within 2-1. Canisius scored two more runs in the top of the second to extend their lead to 4-1. Morales homered again in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 4-3. Jacob Burke tied the game with a solo HR two batters later.

Neither team scored until Miami scored four in the bottom of the seventh inning. Morales’ two-run HR in the seventh inning put Miami ahead to stay. Miami scored five more runs over the next two innings. Canisius scored one in the ninth before Andrew Walters finished off a five-out save.

The Miami bullpen was exceptional. Karson Ligon continued hit struggles at the end of the season. Ligon was knocked out after pitching 1.1 innings, allowing six hits, four runs, all earned, one walk with no strikeouts. In 7.1 innings, the Miami bullpen allowed six hits, one earned run with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

First-team All-ACC pitcher Carson Palmquist will start for Miami tomorrow. Miami needs a better performance from Palmquist than he had in the ACC Tournament versus North Carolina State. Palmquist lasted 3.2 innings against the Wolfpack allowing six runs. Miami used six pitchers in the win over Canisius.

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Morales was on base in all five plate appearances on Saturday. In addition to the three HRs, Morales had a single and a walk. Four other Hurricanes had two hits on Saturday. Miami does not have a common opponent with Arizona or Mississippi. Miami will play the winner of Arizona and Mississippi at 3:06 PM ET on Sunday.