Miami Sports Day

Miami Tops Boston College 14-5 as Hammond Makes Return

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – A nine-run ninth inning barrage that featured three home runs and six hits was far from the brightest moment for Miami in a series-clinching 14-5 win over Boston College Saturday.

That belonged to sidewinder Cooper Hammond, who made his first appearance on the hill in a Miami uniform since undergoing Tommy John surgery last spring.

The Venice, Fla., native tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth in his first action since March 8 of last year.
And though the game’s outcome had been decided in the previous half-inning, Hammond’s return was no less special for a surging Hurricanes team who has not lost a series since April 2.

He enjoyed emotional embraces with coaches, teammates and both parents before the team departed Shea Field.

“He has worked so hard for over a year to get back,” head coach Jim Morris said. “To see him back out there on the mound was great.”

Thanks in large part to a season-high 18 hits, the Hurricanes (22-21, 12-10 ACC) overcame a sluggish start from junior lefthander Michael Mediavilla to climb above .500 for the first time since the opening weekend of the season.

Sophomore Andrew Cabezas (3-2) tossed two scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.

Miami connected for three home runs in the game’s final inning to complete the comeback. Sophomore Romy

Gonzalez, junior Michael Burns and senior Randy Batista all homered in a ninth where Miami sent 12 batters to the plate.

Boston College reliever Donovan Casey (2-2) was tagged for five hits and six runs in 1.1 innings of relief.

Gonzalez’ home run, his team-leading eighth blast of the year, gave Miami its first lead at 7-5. The Hurricanes were far from done, as Batista’s three-run blast later in the inning was followed by a solo shot from Burns.

Every Miami starter recorded at least one hit on the afternoon.

Junior Hunter Tackett, who went 2-for-4 in Friday’s 3-0 win, homered for the second straight day, reached base in all five plate appearances and had a career-best four hits, including a solo homer. He added three runs and had three RBI in the victory.

“There’s no question about that,” Morris said when asked about the importance of playing well in the second half of the season. “It’s something that the NCAA committee looks at, is how you finish up. That’s big.”

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