Miami pounds 6 homers, beats Central Michigan 18-3

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Miami’s offense pounded 18 hits, including six homers, to beat Central Michigan 18-3 on Sunday in an elimination game of the Starkville regional in the NCAA Tournament.

Miami (41-19) advances to play Mississippi State for the regional championship.

The Hurricanes will have to beat Mississippi State twice — once on Sunday night and again Monday — to advance to the super regionals.

Miami didn’t have much trouble beating Central Michigan, jumping out to a 14-2 lead by the end of the sixth inning. Alex Toral had four hits, including two homers and a double, and drove in four runs.

Brian Van Belle (10-2) earned the win, pitching eight innings and saving the Hurricanes’ bullpen for two potential games against Mississippi State.

Central Michigan (47-14) couldn’t score until the fifth inning after Miami had already built a substantial lead. Jordan Patty (4-3) took the loss, giving up eight runs over 3 2/3 innings.

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