In a period of less than 48 hours, the Miami Hurricanes baseball team made quite the statement to open the 2021 season.
After dropping the opener against what was the top ranked team in the country, the rival Florida Gators, the ‘Canes gave up five runs in the first inning of Saturday’s game before mounting a comeback that ended with Miami getting the 10-9 victory in 13 innings.
“We scored three runs in the last inning to tie it and that gave us the chance to go to extra innings and win it and taking that game gave us the chance to win the series,” head coach Gino DiMare told MiamiHurricanes.com.
Sunday, Miami scored eight straight runs and held on to get their first series victory over the Gators since 2014. Now, the Hurricanes return home for their first series inside Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field of 2021 as the No. 1 ranked team by Collegiate Baseball and No. 3 by Baseball America.
“It’s huge to win this series,” right fielder Christian Del Castillo said. “It means a lot to me, especially that I’m playing with my brother (catcher Adrian). I’m just glad to be a part of it and to fight with my brothers along my side. I’m very happy to be here.”
DiMare knows that as big of a series as this was for the ‘Canes, it’s nothing more than the first series of the season.
“We had a meeting the night before the opening game and I said, ‘look, we’re not putting on any rings this weekend. Nobody’s going to crown us champions after one series, but our expectation is to come in here and win the series,’” DiMare said. “Whatever happens, we’re going to lay it all out on the line and everybody’s going to play their tails off.”
Miami knows it has work to do for a chance to get back to Omaha, Nebraska and a shot at their fifth national title in program history.
The ‘Canes open their home schedule Friday against Virginia Tech and have series left against Virginia, Louisville, rival Florida State, Duke and N.C. State – all ranked in the top 15 by Baseball America after the opening weekend of the season.
“I feel good about where our program is at and I’m very happy for winning the series, but we have to keep it in perspective,” DiMare said. “We’ve got to turn the page because we’ve got 47 more of these to go.”