#9 Canes Lose Final Midweek Game To FGCU, 7-3

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

If Miami had any hopes of hosting a Super Regional, they took a major step backward losing their 3rd straight game tonight. Gino was very generous in his comment ” We just didn’t play very well”. In reality, they didn’t even come close to playing as the # 9 ranked team. Offensively, the bats continued to be a no-show for the third straight game only managing 8 scattered hits; only two for extra bases. Defensively, miscues still haunt our level of play and the Eagles had an open season on our second class pitching staff. Miami utilizing 7 pitchers could not stop the outpouring of hits from Eagle’s batters. Starting pitcher, Jake Garland for the first 3 innings gave up 8 hits alone and would eventually have his highest hit production against him of 11, in a Miami uniform. How he managed to keep Florida Gulf at 2 runs is amazing in itself. Miami had opportunities early in the contest but failed to capitalize. 0-3 with bases loaded and 2-10 with RISP doesn’t equate favorably on a team with aspirations of going far in the post-season. Miami’s BP took a major strain with 8 pitchers being called; 4 alone in the 8th to stop the bleeding. Florida Gulf went for 5 unanswered runs in the final two innings to hand Miami its third mid-week loss of the season 7-3.

Edgardo Villegas is still sidelined with an unknown head injury after being struck on the side guard of his helmet during the UCF game and taken out of the game. He was dressed out for tonight’s game but did not play. He missed the entire FSU series and hopefully, he will be able to return for ND this weekend and be available for post-season play. That being said, a difference in the lineup that we have become accustomed to. CJ remained leading off, followed by Yoyo and Jacob moving up to third playing left replacing Max who sat out tonight’s game. I don’t know if this was punishment for his running through the stop sign at 3rd during the FSU series or just given the night off. Normally he would DH when not catching so I am thinking a late punishment not wanting to lose his bat during an important series. If Gino was going to take any action, it should have at the time of the incident. Batting cleanup was Zach in right, with Dorian in the 5th slot and Dominic batting 6th. DH tonight was Ariel Garcia with Jacoby Long getting his first start in center in a long time and Carlos Perez behind the plate. I still don’t understand this move. Why JD Jones is not given the opportunity with Carlos batting .167 compared to JD .294 is beyond my realm of thinking. Jake Garland starting on the mound.

Jake Has been really struggling lately giving up 10 hits and 6 runs against UCF and tonight the Eagles also conducted a batting clinic with 11 hits. His evening got off to a great start with a lead-off home run which was the beginning of the hit parade that followed. Three hits in the first, 2 in the second, and three in the third. In all three innings, Jake started in the hole with the lead off batter hitting safely. The Eagles got their second run coming in the third alternating between singles and strikeout with the third single giving them their second run.

With each run the Eagles scored, Miami was able to counter with one of their own. In the first, trailing after the leadoff homer, the offense looked like game one of the FSU series coming out strong with CJ and Yoyo with back-to-back singles, double stealing, and Zach getting hit to load the base with one out. Scored our initial run on a second hit batter,Dominic, but that ended the scoring tying it at one. After Florida Gulf retook the lead in the third, Miami again answered with one of their own with Jacob’s 11th homer of the year to center traveling 440′ to tie the score at two.

In the 4th we would load the bases for the second time only to have Yoyo strike out on their change of pitchers to end the threat. Finally, in the 5th, Miami took the lead for the first time tonight on an RBI single up the middle by Ariel Garcia, his second hit of the game. Once again no momentum to put up more runs.

An opportunity presented itself one last time in the 6th when Carlos Perez opened with a double to right center. That ended on the next play with a 6-5 ground out by CJ followed by Yoyo and Jacob flying out to center.

Miami held on to the slimmest of leads, 3-2, going into the 8th, it marked the Eagle’s final solution from a discouraging BP. Four came out of the BP to try to stop the bleeding and each was unable to do so. Ten came to the plate and came away with 4 runs on only two hits. Gage Ziehl who started the 8th gave up an initial HR to start the inning. He left after an RBI double putting runners on 2nd and 3rd, turning the rock over to Ronaldo Gallo who load the bases with a walk and then got called for a balk for the 3rd run and SF for the 4th and final run. It was an inning seeing 3 walks, a pair of errors, and a final strikeout with BL from Anthony Arguelles.

If Anthony was feeling good about finally stopping the bleeding in the 8th, the band aide was pulled off to start the 9th with their 3rd HR for the night. 

Not an all-inspiring evening with ND waiting in the wings. A similar series like FSU and dreams of hosting a Super Regional will be just that; a dream. Pitching was as ineffective as was the offense. You need 4 strong starters and right now we are looking at just one. With the inconsistency of our hitting and not knowing if our starters can make it to the 5th, we have no real formula for being confident of going deep not only in the Tournament but in the postseason. ND coming into the weekend series after a 14-4 victory tonight they are running on all cylinders with the fullest confidence while we continue backfiring running on fumes. We have two days to get our act together which seems overwhelming after watching this team in their last three appearances.  First pitch Thursday 7PM.


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