Mark Light magic: Dorian Gonzalez Jr. does it again walking off FIU

Mark Light Dorian Gonzalez

Photo by Raul Maristany / Miami Athletics

Miami, Florida – Make it 11 in a row as the Miami Hurricanes pulled off more magic at Mark Light field thanks to Dorian Gonzalez Jr walking off the Panthers. UM’s cleanup hitter had previously walked off the North Carolina Tar Heels on Saturday. Instead of the longball, Gonzalez vanquished Florida International with a weak bunt to the pitcher’s mound allowing Blake Cyr to slide on home for the 4-3 win.

David Eckaus squared off against Drew Dwyer although neither tapped starter made it to the second inning. Both sides produced a pair of runs on their opening trips to the plate before the opposing bullpens settled into a pitcher’s duel lasting until the seventh. Austin Dearing broke the deadlock with a solo blast off Brian Walters. The Cardiac Canes rallied tying it up again in the eighth setting the stage for Dorian’s encore heroics capping off the hard-fought contest.

Daniel Cuvet ended a three-game slump by going three-for-five with an RBI, a double, and a stolen base. Gonzalez went two-for-five plating two. On the mound, Ashton Crowther put in some long relief tossing five scoreless innings holding FIU to two hits striking out three. Nick Robert took over for Walters in the eighth retiring the last four hitters keeping Miami in the fight.

UM improves to 12-8 completing a very long homestand winning 12 of 19. They are now 2-3 in midweek games. The Hurricanes travel to South Bend this weekend to play Notre Dame.

Crosstown Clash

Ryne Guida opened up the scoring with an RBI double in the first. Three batters later Jeff Liquori singled to center field knocking in Guida. Miami immediately responded with deuces. Cuvet came through with an RBI double down the right-field line scoring Cyr. Shortly thereafter Cuvet came home on the Gonzalez single tying it up 2-2.

The Hurricanes loaded the bases in the fourth, however, they failed to cash in. Relievers Richie Pena and Zac Lampton slammed the door shut retiring the next three hitters. Miami had another opportunity to take the lead in the sixth when they had two aboard with one out. The Panthers’ pitching held strong as Jackson Ritchey dismissed Jake Kulikowski and Antonio Jimenez.

Florida International retook the lead courtesy of a solo homer from Dearing. Walters left one hanging over the plate resulting in a blast to right field. FIU nearly made it back-to-back when Guida went deep to left field only to see his dinger robbed at the wall by Hollywood.

Miami couldn’t covert on the morale booster in the seventh. Edgardo Villegas led off with a single, eventually advancing to second base on a wild pitch. Despite lurking in scoring position, Villegas was left stranded via a sequence of Cyr popping out, Cuvet whiffing, and Gonzalez grounding out to end the threat. UM managed to push the tying run across the next frame. Jason Torres led off with a base hit while a pitch nicked Jack Scanlon. With Gaby Gutierrez pinch-hitting, a combination of a fielder’s choice and throwing error allowed the Hurricanes to sneak in the tying run. Gonzalez finished off Florida International with runners at the corners opting for the unsuspecting bunt reliever Ryan Cabarcas could not handle.


It certainly wasn’t the shootout I was expecting, however, the Miami Hurricanes still won. The pitching, a weakness for both programs, was very effective in silencing the potent offenses that were more than capable of putting up crooked numbers. Cuvet returned to form with the heart of the order generating most of the production at the plate. The bullpen largely did its job centered around effective outings from Crowther and Robert.

The momentum shifted when Hollywood stole Guida’s home run giving his team a big shot in the arm. If Cyr had failed to make the catch, the outcome would’ve been different, and Miami’s dominance of FIU over. A notable problem for the Panthers was the frequency of allowing the leadoff hitter to get on base which occurred on five occasions.  Although the Canes stranded nine and were a dubious 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, they jumped on Ritchey giving up a single coupled by the hit-by-pitch to start the eighth. A needed spark leading to the win.

Gus Bus Award

The last two wins via walk-offs by the same guy? You know Dorian has got this one locked.

You’re Killing Me Smalls

The entire bottom third of the lineup was abysmal. At least Carrier walked three times. Outside of that, the seven, eight, nine holes were hitless.

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