Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
A CAT 5 Hurricane brought havoc and decimation on an unsuspecting Fighting Irish Team bringing them down to their knees as the Miami team exploded unmercifully in the first inning and did not let up to the final out. After an embarrassing Friday night performance where Miami had just a single hit through the first 6 innings, they left no doubt in anyone’s wildest dreams that today they had come to play and leave their brand on the leprechaun for future reference. The CAT 5 laid waste to the ND starter, Jack Findley, whose ERA coming into the final game of the series was .81. The Cane hitters blew him away not even completing the inning with 7 BIG ones that included barn burners leaving the yard from Max, Zach, and Ariel. Tornadoes still ripping the ball off its seams in the third with Gaby collecting his third of the series. Joining him in the 4th was once again Max for his second of the day followed directly behind him Jacob. Dorothy, in this case, the Irish, “we are not in Kansas any longer” as Miami broke lose with 7 HRs within the first four innings totally 10 runs. The Irish were not to be denied in sitting idly by getting to Rosario in the fourth inning with a three-run shot of their own and then blowing him off the mound the following inning with a pair of runs to bring them into some semblance of a game at 11-5. If there was any hope that the Irish could make a run and work themselves back into the game ended in the 7th with another 5 runs added to the previous 11 eliminating any dreamers. Irish still not waving the flag added sailed solo shots in the 8th and 9th but in the end, the Sleeping Giant had finally awoken to take the series by a score of 16-7.
Gaby this weekend has entrenched himself in left field replacing Edgardo when he injured himself during the UCF game, now finds himself sitting on the bench. Gaby put on a spectacular display of raw power that might lead to being selected as ACC Player of the Week with a 6-8 performance as he collected three HRs and 7 RBIs. Ariel Garcia was the only change to the lineup batting 9th as the DH. It also appears that we have finally settled upon a RF in the way of Zach Levenson, like Gaby, who has made the best of the opportunity when given the chance. Both players have added great turns at bat but with the power to make a definite difference. Alejandro Rosario got the starting call but I can’t help thinking why Gino will continue to stick with him as the third-weekend starter. For two innings he looked good and then he didn’t. As I have continually stated we only have one starting pitcher which is three short of what we should have. Alex McFarlane and Ronaldo Gallo should be looked at seriously in moving them from BP to starter. They have been our best relievers and have continuously kept us out of trouble. Even having problems with set-up in that Gage has seemed to lose his edge and getting himself in constant trouble. Pitching is our Achilles Heel and Carson and Andrew can’t do it all by themselves. Fortunately, we have Alex and Ronaldo strong from the BP.
Seven runs in the first behind three HRs took the pressure off of Rosario to pitch his game. Some web gem plays by Yoyo in the third boosted his confidence level. Adding two more in the third on a Gaby HR didn’t exactly hurt having a 9-0 lead to work with.
Even so with all the support coming from the bat and the field, by the 4th inning, Alejandro was spiraling downward. A lead-off single and walk set up the Irish getting back three of the runs back setting up a yard leaver. In the 5th, it was all but over for him striking two batters, a WP scoring a run, and a couple of hits. Charged with 5 runs, Ronaldo had to be called in to put out the fire.
Back-to-back HRs in our half of the 4th by Max and Jacob and almost Zach joining them with a long single bouncing off the LF fence. The three runs that finally got the Irish on the board in the top half of the inning, the homers by Max and Jacob helped to offset the damage.
The 7th, brought any doubts that the final nails were definitely in place in determining the final outcome. Miami did this via a BL walk to Dominic, RBI single by CJ, 2 consecutive WPs scoring Gaby and CJ, and concluding with a SF by Yoyo. Five runs added to the 11 and the CAT 5 was finally finished with a toll of 16 runs on 14 hits. Token HRs in the 8th and 9th with too little, way too late.
Contagious hitting is an understatement for how well the team looked on the final day of the regular season. Not enough to take the #1 seed back from VT, but feeling positive and highly motivated with confidence at their highest level moving into next week’s Tournament as the 3# seed behind VT and Louisville who won the Atlantic today. 6 HRs lit up the skies coming from Jacob, Zack, Gaby, Ariel, and two from today’s MVP Maxwell Romero having a 2-5 day with 3 RBIs. Joining him with multiple hits was Zach Levenson 3-3(2RBIs); Gaby Gutierrez 2-2 (2RBI); Ariel Garcia 2-4 (2RBIs).
Mr. Leprechaun we stole your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and took the series from you and you found out the shamrock ain’t so lucky in this Land of Oz.
Next week is the Tournament. We are in Pool C and will be playing round robin with Wake and NCS. As to times and dates with the complete brackets will be released tomorrow.
Tonight we can enjoy the fruits of our victory showing the CONVICTS still control the CATHOLICS in a 16-7 trouncing.
See you in Charlotte.