#2 Canes Rally Late To Come Back And Sweep FAU Season Series Finale, 7-6

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

SWEEP. The Miracle Ride keeps rolling. Fourteen straight for the Cardiac Kids as they pull off another in spectacular form. For the fourth time in as many days, the Canes have had to fight back from a deficit to pull off a victory. Tonight, not only were they were once again to start the game but they had to claw their way back with 5 unanswered runs deep in the game to make Mark Light Magic never more real than what we witnessed tonight. Those who believed stayed around after Miami dropped behind 4 runs in the 6th and the doubters will now have to read about how the “Fat Lady Didn’t Sing” until Andrew Walters threw his final strike claiming his 11th save and the #2 Miami Hurricanes continue to march on. 

Lineup changes saw Carlos Perez pulling duties behind the plate batting 9th with Max taking on the role as tonight’s DH. Dorian still out with a leg injury had Henry Wallen pulling duty at second batting 8th. In the forever-changing role on who going to get the call to play RF, the winner tonight goes to Zach Levenson batting 7th. The rest of the lineup is unchanged. Starting on the mound Jake Garland. I had hoped this would be the last time we saw Jake in the mid-week role and would return as our Sunday day starter. With having thrown 96 pitches tonight, the wait might be just a bit longer.

Tonight’s start couldn’t be any worse. The defense looked like they were still celebrating from the sweep over the weekend and forgot they had a game tonight. To say the defense was sloppy is being generous. Mentally they were not prepared and thought this would be a no contest. Instead, they quickly fell behind by two runs on errors and poor decision-making. That and Jake not being at his very best. Starts with Jake hitting the leadoff batter, a single following, and then the bases getting loaded on what should have been a routine 6-4-3 DP. No idea what Dominic was thinking but he decided to bypass Henry at second and take it on his own to run over from short and throw to first which of course is late. Don’t know if it was a trust issue or what but the Canes were looking at BL no-outs. Not a good beginning and it only got worse. The next batter hits a grounder to Yoyo and he goes for the 5-4-3 DP conceding the run but the runner is called safe at first. Runners at the corners two outs, Yoyo has a second chance to end the inning but his throw is wide to first, and a second run scores. Just like the weekend trailing by two and once again we are in catch-up mode. Add to that, 24 pitches thrown.

Chance to get runs back in the first with Edgardo hitting a one-out double and Yoyo walking. Max hits into a DP 6-3 and opportunity lost. In weekend fashion, Miami evens the score in the second with Jacob Burke walking and gets his 5th steal of the year. Zach brings us to within one with an RBI single to third base. Henry next at-bat singles moving Zach to second. WP advances both runners one base and Carlos Perez SF to left ties the score at 2.

Miami had action going on in the 4th with a good chance of taking the lead except for Gino coaching 3rd makes a very poor call. Zach had a one-out single followed up with Henry walking. Back to the top of the order after Carlos flies out to left. CJ singles to left, not deep, and Gino rather than putting on the red light for Zach sends him home. He didn’t get halfway home before he had the ball waiting for him at home plate. It was obvious to all in the stadium, except for Gino, to not send him. May be the scouting report had the LF with no arm or poor accuracy. On that play, Gino would have been wrong on both counts.
The 5th, the Owls had a chance to break the tie with a single, couple of WP, and a walk to have runners on the corners with two outs, but a FO7 ended the threat.

Jake with 86 pitches comes out to start the 6th. After Back-to-back singles, Jake’s day is done. Alejandro Torres is in for relief. The uglies for Miami kept on rolling. SAC back to Alejandro he elects he go for the lead runner. Not only did he not throw the ball with determination, but it threw Yoyo off the bag getting by him scoring the leadoff batter. Runners on second and third, a single adds two more runs. When things go south, it seems there is no stopping the floodgates.

Throwing error to first by Yoyo put runners on second and third and the call to the BP made for the second time. Out with Torres and in with Rafe Schlesinger. Rafe finally gets the first out with a K. Short reprieve for the 4th run of the inning is rung up with the 4th single of the inning. 6-3 DP ends the inning and most of the 3000 fans start exiting from the Light. Miami down 6-2, only the Magic is about to start.

The wake-up call is sounded in the 7th. CJ leads off with a single and advances to second on a WP. Edgardo HP. After Yoyo goes deep to left, Max singles to right. The throw to 3rd from right gets by the 3B and both runners scored and Max ends up on 3rd which he goes no further. The deficit is now down to 2 with two innings to go.

The Mark Light Magic was being kindled in the 7th but the fireworks were in their splendor come the 8th. FAU sent in 3 pitchers to stop the Magic but proved unsuccessful. The spell that was cast was just too overwhelming. A pair of walks to Gaby, PH for Carlos, and CJ. Two outs. Yoyo gets under the ball and hits a shallow fly to right.

Miscommunication between second and right and right doesn’t make the catch which 2B should have called him off. Gaby not thinking two outs is not running on contact slowing down Edgardo. Gaby realizing his mistake takes off and beats the throw home and gets by the catcher. That miscue on Gaby could have been costly because at the very least Edgardo could have been on 3rd and possibly home by the time the RF recovered. One run-in, deficit two. Runers on 1st and 2nd. Balk called. Runners advance one base. Max HP and BL; remember this is all coming with 2 outs. Jacob to the plate trailing by one. WP and the game is tied at 6. Runners at 2nd and 3rd, Jacob hits a slow roller back to 3rd and the race is on between retrieving the ball and Jacob going all out running to first. Ball and runner get to the bag at ALMOST the same time. Called safe. The review was upheld and Miami takes an unbelievable one-run lead after being down by four two innings prior and the doubters had left the stadium.

Andrew Walters, the MIRACLE MAN, comes in and Andrew does what Andrew does: STRIKEOUT, STRIKEOUT, STRIKEOUT. Now the “Fat Lady” was bellowing her song. Miami wins 6-5 and the streak goes on. Not since 2014 have we gone 14 straight. 

Offensively, everyone in the starting 9 had at least one hit with the exception of Carlos Perez. He did have a SF to his credit. Two with multiple hits: CJ Kayfus 2-4 and Zach Levenson 2-4(RBI). Edgardo Villegas only player with an extra base hit(double). No HRs to hang our hat on. 9 singles and a double. One area that needs to be noted is that we only had 2 strikeouts tonight. That must be some type of record this year. Walked 8.
Defensively, very sloppy. 3 errors cost runs and should have cost us the game except their defense was sloppier.

Onward to Blacksburg this Thursday for a weekend series with VT. They are on a streak of their own and we have to tighten our defense and play smart ball if we want to walk away on the right side of being victorious. First pitch 7PM.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *