LifeWallet athlete, Andrew Walters, would strike out the final seven North Carolina State batters on Thursday to secure Miami’s spot in the semifinals of the ACC Baseball Championship, a 4-2 victory at the Durham Bulls Athletic park in North Carolina. Miami will be making their first appearance in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament since 2017.
The Hurricanes were in a tough spot in the seventh inning, that is when Miami head coach Gino DiMare would turn to his All-American closer. Walters would strand a pair of Wolfpack runners on bases, in addition to outlasting seven of the eight batters he went up against to close out the game through 2 1/2 innings.
Rafe Schlesinger and Carlos Lequerica would also pitch in their efforts towards the victory and gave up only two hits. Thursday’s starting pitcher for Miami, Gage Ziehl, he would hold NC State to two runs in a phenomenal pitching effort from himself and the Hurricanes’ bullpen.
Miami would get out front of NC State early on when Edgardo Villegas blasted a two-run homer in the first inning.
Villegas’ home run was Miami’s 107th of the season, which now stands alone as the second-most in a single season in program history.
NC State would respond at the bottom of the first, Eli Serrano III would plate two and knot the score up at two apiece.
Gage Ziehl would then sit down nine of the next 12 batters before handing it over to the Miami bullpen.
Renzo Gonzalez would put the Hurricanes back in the lead with a run-scoring single in the fourth inning, then in the eighth it was Jacoby Long who made it safe to home on a passed ball to add the fourth and final run of the night for Miami.
Miami will play their final game in Pool D of the ACC Baseball Championship against the fifth-seed Duke Blue Devils on Friday at 3:00 PM EST.
The competition will heat up for the Hurricanes after their bout with Duke, they will be taking on the best team in the country on Saturday in the semifinals. Their next opponent is the ACC’s first-seed and currently the number-one ranked team in the country, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who have a 46-9 record on the season. The Demon Deacons swept Miami on March 26th, 3-0, in a home series in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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