Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The Miracle Ride is no more. The streak stops at 14 straight as Miami was knocked off their pedestal by the VT Hokies, winner of their last 10 of 12 games, in a very convincing 12-5 loss. For the 5th consecutive game, Miami found themselves in catch-up mode. After being down 6 runs early in the ballgame, Miami would not go down easy. They had opportunities to crawl their way back into the game but key hits were not able to come their way. With RISP they were only 2-11. Carson Palmer ran into a Hokie Blitzkrieg as he was plummeted for 6 runs (3 HRS) on 10 hits and was forced into early retirement from the onslaught. It was not until the 5th, that Miami finally answered bringing the deficit to 3 runs, highlighted by a Rosario triple and an Edgardo 396 ‘ HR only to lose the momentum the following inning stranding a runner on third. Miami gave back a run in the 7th on a WP and single. The Cardiac Kids, down 4, had a resurgence of Miami power with Max opening the inning with a 405’ shot to right-center. Jacob Burke followed with a triple to left-center and you had to wonder if another comeback was in the realm of possibility. Zach keeps the rally alive with a single bringing the deficit to two. Within two runs and still, the 9th to complete the Miracle Ride, total derailment comes in the bottom of the 8th with a 5 run slugfest giving Miami its first loss since Mar 20th when Clemson handed them a 20-5 loss.
Minor changes in the bottom of the lineup with Mike Rosario batting 8th playing RF and Henry Wallen playing 2nd for the injured Dorian Gonzalez batting 9th. Max returned to his duties behind the plate. Carson Palmquist on the rubber.
Miami started strong with CJ opening with a single and stealing 2nd and 3rd but was unable to get the final 90 feet for the first score.
Hokies opening with 4 straight hits capped with a 3 run HR to left gave them an early 3-0 lead. Carson right from the get-go looked like he was struggling. Before the inning’s end and 9 batters coming to the plate, he hit and walked a batter to load the bases. The inning ended with 38 pitches to a shocked Miami team.
The second inning brought darker times with a leadoff HR to add to their 3-0 initial lead. At 58 pitches, time was not working in Carson’s favor. In the third, Miami had a bit of relief as Carson showed he was not ready to concede by striking out the three batters faced. Unfortunately, this did not deter the Hokies returning in the 4th with their 3rd HR of the game with a man on to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Following the HR, Carson gives up his 10th hit causing Gino to come out of the dugout to end what had to be the darkest outing for Carson Palmquist.
With Anthony Arguelles in relief, Hokies batters were kept in check finishing the 4th and held scoreless for the next two innings. This gave Miami the opportunity to make their way back into the ballgame picking up 3 runs in the 5th to cut the lead in half and you felt the swift of energy swinging in Miami’s direction. Mike Rosario’s one-out triple to left-center brought new life from the dugout. Following Henry’s strikeout, back to the top of the order with an RBI single by CJ. To add to the excitement, CJ steals second and advances to 3rd on a throwing error by the catcher trying for the out at second. Completing the tour around the circuit, a WP brings in Miami’s second run. Bases cleared, Edgardo launches a 396 projectile over the RF wall to bring Miami within 3.
Miami had something going the following inning With Jacob opening with a single, advancing to second on Zach ground out. Steals third but again stalls out not being able to go further.
After two innings of the Hokies not being able to answer, they regain one run back in the 7th with a leadoff single, a WP followed by an RBI single to make it a 4 run deficit with two innings left.
Miami never to concede, remembering their comeback against FAU with 5 runs in the 7th and 8th inning, Max opens with #8 sending the missile 405′ to right-center. Jacob follows with a triple and Zach brings him home with an RBI single to right. Deficit to two from what started out as a runaway at the end of 4 where 6 runs were on the board with no stoppage in sight.
This game had now become reachable with an inning left and the top of the order. Before getting there, the Hokies had their half of the 8th and they finalized any hope of a Miami Miracle with 5 runs to seal the streak at 14. Miami sent 4 pitchers (Dubberly,Schlesinger,Torres, Raudelunas) to attempt to stop the bleeding but it was not meant to be. Four hits, an intentional walk, walk to load the bases, and a final walk for a run. Bases still loaded, the finishing nail with a bases-clearing double. To finalize the 5 run breakout, following the bases-clearing double an RBI single extended the lead to 12-5.
Miami had nothing left going down in order in the 9th.
Offensively, we collected 10 hits, but the Hokies had 16 with half their runs coming from the long ball. Besides the differential in HRs, they were a lot more productive with RISP going 5-12 compared to our 2-11. We just did not get the hit when most needed striking out 11 times. Three with Multiple hits: CJ Kayfus 2-5(RBI);Edgardo Villegas 2-5(double,HR,RBI);Jacob Burke 2-4(Triple). Additionally Mike Rosario (triple) and Max Morales (HR,RBI).
Pitching dropped the ball tonight with not being able to hold back a determined VT battery. 12 runs on 16 hits are something not to hang one’s hat on with our starter not being able to make it through the 4th inning.
I am sure things were very quiet in the locker room not happy with tonight’s performance. The pressure is now off and time to start a new streak with Karson Ligon ringing up #1. Tonight was a slow start but a very positive resurgence of bouncing back on what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit. Expect an aggressive turnabout with first pitch at 7PM.