#8 Canes Score 15 To Sweep #3 Virginia, 15-5

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]


Fairy tales hold special meaning. Miami has been on a rainbow ride seeking out that pot of gold and today they completed its Miracle Ride with a 15-5 SWEEP over third rank Virginia for their 13th consecutive win.  Not since 2012 have we had a sweep against a top-three team. We have to go back to May 20th of 2015 the last time Miami faced off against another Virginia team in the ACC Tournament beating them 9-5 for their 13th consecutive win. There are bigger pots awaiting on the horizon for these talented players who few thought they would be knocking on being ranked #2 in the nation come tomorrow. Unranked prior to the season, they have shown doubters that this Dream Team is unique in every way. Pitching, hitting and a reborn BP has made this a team ready to meet its destiny at Omaha. For the third straight day, they have come from a deficit with an explosion of hits and runs never leaving a moment of doubt that this is the team to beat in the ACC. An 11 run breakout in the 5th and 6th inning left the CavaTEARS in disarray never being able to answer with runs of their own. Miami had to go to their BP early as starter Alejandro Rosario struggled once again. Trailing 3-0 into the third, CJ’s RBI single gives Miami its first run and Edgardo Villegas hits the kick starter with a 3 RBI HR, his 4th of the year, to give Miami the lead and they never looked back. After Rosario had given up 3 runs on 7 hits with 5 walks, the call to the BP. This has lately become a Born Again BP who goes out there and shuts the door. Only relinquished one run with two hits for the remainder of the game. Only one HR today, a decisive one, but with the bats rendering 12 additional hits with three being for extra bases, the Canes rolled to a SWEEPING 15-5 victory. Their 3rd consecutive ACC SWEEP.

Going into Sunday’s game, Miami is still without a solid starter on the mound and Alejandro continues to struggle to try to earn his way back into the rotation. Last week against Duke he looked like the Rosario of old, but today he looked like he had no control which put him on the sidelines early in the season. For the 4+ inning, he was never able to get the leadoff batter which made it difficult to come away clean. In the first, a DP got him out of hot water after losing the first two batters who reached base to start the game, but in the second and third cost him runs. Again the 4th saved him with a DP but with back-to-back walks in the 5th at 85 pitches, Gino had seen more than enough. Being 3 runs in the hole, he had to go to the BP. If Gino wants to continue to use Rosario as a starter move him to mid-week to regain his confidence and return Jake to the Sunday slot. Sunday is our biggest question mark on who to start and like our rotating DH and RF we better find an answer soon. Zach and Gaby are making a bit of a noise and being seen regularly holding the DH and RF position but today we saw Carlos Perez return to the lineup PH for Max. Max is making better contact as shown going 2-4 today, but his strikeouts are still way too much. Max needs rest and now Carlos appears ready to return to the lineup. When Carlos is inserted in the lineup, Max could always DH. Still, no word on Dorian returning. Leg injury, he is a game-time decision on whether he plays or not.

As earlier mentioned, Miami was once again playing catch-up trying to prevent getting deeper in the hole. Virginia is first on the board coming in the second. After a lead-off single, Virginia was placed on a temporary hold on a failed attempted steal. Their next batter doubled which would have been run#1. Would have to wait until two batters later on the third hit of the inning and an Edgardo throwing error to get their initial run.

Next inning, again lead-off hitter on with a single, advancing to second on a balk. He would score on a single back to the pitcher. A two-out walk followed with a single put Miami in the hole 3-0 and Rosario at 65 pitches. No one warming up in the BP.

With a 3 run deficit, Miami having done nada in the first two innings, decides to come and play in the 3rd. A one-out single by Gaby, started the wheels turning in what would be a 5 run breakout along with 5 hits. Following Miami’s initial hit by Gaby, Ariel walks. Back to the top of the order and CJ comes across with an RBI single to bring the deficit to two. Two on and Edgardo takes it deep for a 359′ difference-maker putting Miami on top 4-3. Hit the rewind button and Yoyo starts it all over again with a double with Max following with a single putting runners on the corners. Jacob reaches base on a throwing error by short scoring Yoyo and the 5th run of the inning.

The 6th showed the total collapse of Virginia’s pitching staff. Gave up 6 runs on just two hits, both singles, but 5 walks and one hit batter. By the end of the 4th inning, a stunned Virginia was looking at an 11-3 blowout with more to come.

The 6th, Virginia stirred the fires getting one of the 8 runs back on a BL SF but Miami answers with 3 more of their own. Dominic starts with a one-out double, Zach walks and Jacoby Long singles to right scoring Dominic. E-1 on attempted pick-off of Long at first scores Zach and takes Jacoby all the way around to 3rd. Ariel brings him home with a SF9 extending the lead 14 -4 at the end of 6.
Miami makes it 15 in the 7th with a leadoff double by Henry Wallen, PH for Yoyo, Jacob advancing Henry to 3rd with a single, and Dominic grounding out 3-1 brings in Miami’s 15th and final run

Virginia would not roll over and wave the white flag at 15-4 into the 9th. A one-out homer by Chris Newell was their last farewell to the LIGHT which they were only too anxious to leave. They came in third in the country with the best of everything hitting, pitching, etc., and left wondering what in the world hit them.

Offensively, it was a banner day with 13 hits and 13 walks. Didn’t need the HR ball to make a difference although it did put us in the lead once and for all. Four-player in double digits: CJ Kayfus 2-3(2RBI); Edgardo Villegas 2-4(HR,3RBI); Henry Wallen 2-2(double); Maxwell Romero 2-4(RBI). YoYo and Dominic each got doubles.

Pitching has already been discussed regarding Sunday’s starter. The offense bailed him out, but his control just plain failed him.

Losing the leadoff batter five times is something you don’t want to hang your hat on and just puts extra pressure on you. The BP did likewise for the 6th and 7th but managed finally to get things right in the final two innings. However Gino wants to spin it, 7 hits and 5 walks not making it through the 5th is not what you want from your starter. Rosario has had too many of these rough starts although he looked somewhat of what a starter should look like last week. Today’s BP of Torres, Gallo, Schlesinger, and Raudelunas executed exactly what you want to see from your BP. Minimum damage of just 2 hits and one run given up by Raudelunas is first-rate for 5 innings.

Tuesday, we go for 14 straight against visiting FAU. We have won the first two games in the series looking for another SWEEP to notch onto the broom. First pitch 6PM.

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