ACC: CLEMSON

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Miami advances to the semi-finals winning with a heart-stopping catch by Edgardo Villegas taking a HR away from Tristan Bissetta off the wall in left to earn the Cardiac Canes another game in their quest towards Championship Sunday. 

Miami set to revenge last year’s Championship 11-5 lost to Clemson once again turned to the long ball and the freshmen bats of Antonio Jimenez, and Jake Kulikowski, accompanied by freshman Daniel Cuvet 2 RBI double accounting for 7 of Miami’s 8 runs.

Gage Ziehl struggled with his control losing the lead-off batter in 5 of his 6 innings pitched. That and the defense drove his pitch count up driving him out earlier than we would want with 103 pitches completing 6 innings holding onto a 6-3 lead. Freshman Nick Robert our one-time “closer” got “closed” after giving up 2 runs in the 8th having Clemson draw closer narrowing the lead to within one before Myles Caba once again brought in to stop the bleeding. Freshman Jake Kulikowski,PH, for Lorenzo Carrier, added the much-needed insurance run in the 8th as the Tigers roared back in the 9th with a lead-off HR bringing the score back to within one.  Myles walks Blake Wright bringing the go-ahead run on first with two outs. Count 1-1 to Tristan Bissetta. He connects driving the ball deep to left. Both fans on the edge of their seats: Tiger fans cheering and Miami holding their breath. Edgardo leaps high at the left field fence bringing the ball back onto the field with the robbery of the game. Cardiac Canes narrowly escaped 8-7 and advanced to Saturday to face off against the Duke Blue Devils who won in tonight’s final game against NCS 8-1.

Miami drew first blood with a two-out single by freshman Daniel Cuvet followed by an RBI double off the center field wall by Dorian Gonzalez giving Miami an early 1-0 lead.  Tigers roared back with 2 in the 2nd with an RBI double by Jarren Purify to momentarily hold the lead at 2-1. 

Miami determined not to repeat last year’s loss to Clemson batted around with 5 runs on 4 hits in the second with a 2 RBI double from freshman Daniel Cuvet and freshman Antonio Jumenez ‘s 3 RBI round tripper bringing home Carlos Perez (single) and Lorenzo Carrier (double) crossing home plate before him.

For the third consecutive inning, Gage lost the lead-off batter who would eventually score on a PB bringing the Tigers to within 3. This would hold until the 6th when Miami reclaimed the run lost in the 3rd, extending the lead back to 3 with an RBI single by Edgardo bringing home Antonio who led off the 6th with a walk.

With the change of pitchers in the 7th, Nick Robert opens for the Canes relinquishing a double to Jarren Purify to right center. WP advances him to 3rd and scores on a ground out to first. The game become tighter in the 8th with a duo of runs coming from a lead-off triple and a pair of double before JD relieves Robert for Myles Caba to put the Tigers back into their cage.

Myles had the help of freshman Jake Kulikowski leading off Miami’s half of the 8th with a 390′ blast to RF. It would be the insurance run Miami would need as the Tigers once again roared back in the 9th with a lead-off HR. Thanks to the grandstand catch of Edgardo in left ensured the Cardiac Canes lived to fight another day.

Offensively, it was the freshman display of power that carried today’s banner. 4 batters with multiple numbers: Edgardo Villegas 2-4(RBI), Daniel Cuvet 2-4(double,3RBIs), Dorian Gonzalez 2-4(double,RBI)and Antonio Jimenez 2-3(HR,3RBIs). Additionally, Lorenzo Carrier with a double and Jake Kulikowski with a HR added to the extra-base hits. It was a total team effort but our young freshmen: Daniel Cuvet, Jake Kulikowski, and Antonio Jimenez deserve special mention.

Pitching, Gage not one of his best-pitched games still gave us 6 and probably should have stayed to pitch the 7th, but once again Myles Caba to the rescue after Nick Robert just couldn’t get the job done.

The Cardiac Canes live to fight another day. Will face off against Duke 5PM on Saturday. 

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