Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Dawn of a new beginning. Miami holds on and avoids a sweep, taking the final game of the series 8-5. As has been the pattern this weekend, the Hokies struck first, but the sting wasn’t as harsh being only one run. This left the door open for Miami to answer in the third with a 2 RBI double from Max giving Miami its first lead in the series. A bases-clearing double in the 5th by Dominic, his first hit of the series, added to an earlier run in the inning, giving the Canes a 5 run advantage and appearing to be in total control of the game. Jacob Burke’s solo HR in the 7th added a bit more insurance putting Miami on the fast track to salvage game 3. What Miami didn’t count on was the Grand Slam HR in the bottom half of the 7th by Tanner Schobel, his 11th, to bring the Hokies back to within 2 runs. It was time to bring in Andrew, who has not allowed a run scored against him this year, to shut the door. Given a bit of insurance in the 9th with CJ going the distance,388′ to left, gave a bit more breathing room for Andrew to face the heart of their order to secure the save.
No TV coverage due to the VT Spring Football Scrimmage gets priority.
Shuffling in the lineup once again 7-9. Zach Levenson gets the call for the 7th slot as the DH. 8th playing RF Gaby Gutierrez and rounding out batting 9th Aria Grcia playing 2B. Still no word on when Dorian Gonzalez will come off the IR list. Alejandro Rosario gets the starting call for duties on the mound
The Hokies not having a true Sunday starter went with Jordan Gieber a grad student looking for his first win. They were hoping he would last 2 or three innings and then it was pitching by committee. We are pretty much in the same boat and needed Alejandro to give us at least 5 innings, which our prior two starters could not get pass the 4th.
Rather than a 4 run deficit as experienced in the first two games Alejandro kept it at one coming in the first on a two-out RBI double. Miami answered in the second. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, two outs, Max hits a scorcher down the RF line for a 2 RBI double giving Miami their first lead of the series.
Going into the 5th, Miami was holding onto a one-run lead. The Cane’s bats finally struck gold with 4 runs coming on three hits and a pair of walks. A bases-clearing BL double by Pitelli, snapping his 0-9 draught this series extended the lead to 6-1.
After VT initial run in the first, Alejandro kept the Hokies hitters in check throwing in the mid to high 90’s to just 2 singles. Relieved in the 5th by Alex McFarlane, runners on the corners with one out. McFarlane gets the strikeout, but in the process throws a WP. The runner slides safely home from third but is called out for batter’s interference (Tanner Schobel).
Jacob gets #6 in the 7th on a solo shot to left increasing the spread to six. You cannot rule the Hokies down and out even with the lead at 6. They lead the ACC in HRs for a reason and have shown how explosive they can be all series. Today, they were being kept in check until the 7th. Gage Ziehl, in relief, who has been rock-solid as the Cane’s setup pitcher, ran into the Hokie express train. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, bringing to the plate a familiar name Tanner Schobel. A thorn in our side all series plants the ultimate sting with the Grand Salami to left bringing the margin to two.
Not holding back, Gino goes with Andrew Walters to start the 8th. The 8th went as expected striking out two of the three batters faced. A solo HR by CJ in the 9th gave Andrew a 3 run cushion.
It was back to the top of the order after walking the lead-off batter. 1-4 all batting over .350 and accounting for 5 of their 7 hits today, Andrew had his work cut out for him. WP advanced the runner to second. Biddison, 2-3 today, lines out to Yoyo. Cross, 1-2, strikes out swinging, bringing to the plate Tanner Schobel who homered his last at bat. If Schobel happens to reach base, their leading hitter at .419 comes to the plate already with a double today. Andrew is our Closer for a reason. Strikes out Schobel looking at the 3rd strike. Miami survives Blacksburg preventing a sweep, taking the series final 8-5.
Offensively, we played more to what we have seen prior to this series which handcuffed our batters. Three batters in multiple numbers: CJ Kayfus 2-4(HR,RBI); Yohandy Morales 2-4(triple); Maxwell Romero 2-4(double,3RBI). Additionally Dominic Pitelli 1-4 (double,3RBI); Jacob Burke 1-3(HR,RBI)
Pitching today kept an explosive Hokie team which has seen 25 runs on 32 hits over the past two days to just 5 runs on 7 hits. Alejandro gave us 4.1 innings, allowing just a single run. Alex McFarlane in relief kept the hitting juggernaut in check without a hit. Our setup pitcher, Gage Ziehl felt the sting of running into trouble in the 7th with Hokies showing what they have done all series; putting runs on the board. The 9th wasn’t easy-peasy for Andrew but in the end, he prevails.
A much-needed win to get us back on track. Returning home this week, hopefully, with today’s win, the streak starts up again. First pitch is Tuesday 6PM against Bethune-Cookman.