Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Wake Forest first time in Program history sweeps the Canes in dramatic fashion after they were trailing late in the game. The game was called after 7.5 innings due to travel restrictions. A two-hour weather delay due to lightning in the area had the game working under a curfew protocol that no inning could start after 445. Miami started the 8th with just minutes remaining hoping for one of those Mark Light Miracles that had eluded them all series. Trailing 4-1, top of the order, the bats continued like they had all series; remaining silent. For the third straight game, the offense only managed to put together 5 strayed hits with their only score coming in the 3rd on a 382′ drive to right center by Carlos Perez. Few opportunities presented themselves to put up any type of formidable attack going 0-4 with runners in scoring position. For the weekend, they were 0-19 with RISP striking out a total of 39 times; 13 today. This was a team that came to Winston-Salem, NC that was not prepared to play the brand of baseball expected of them and as a result, struggled every time they came to the plate. As a result, we entered Winston-Salem first in the Coastal and exited fourth in the Conference
Changes to the lineup had Jacoby Long in his first start playing center batting 7th and Dorian returning to second base in the 6th position. Edgardo Villegas moved from center to left. Blake Cyr took over the duties of DH. Alejandro Rosario on the hill
Not having strong expectations as to what type of day Alejandro would give us having not fared well all season with an early departure. That wasn’t the case today, giving his best performance to date. He kept the Hokies scoreless through four innings only allowing one hit coming with a lead-off single in the third. Thought it was over for him in the second after walking two and hitting one, but a ground out to first ended the threat.
As for Miami, it was another beginning of strikeout after strikeout through the first two innings where the impotent offense struck out four times. Dominic picked up where the team left off in the second with the 5th strikeout for the day. Carlos Perez, next to bat, broke the string of strikeouts, making that sweet contact with the ball on the 9th pitch, sending it 382′ to right-center to give Miami a 1-0 lead which they would hold onto until the 5th.
The reign of Alejandro would end in the 5th at 88 pitches with a lead-off single and walk. Rafe Schlesinger would come in relief and all looked good getting the next two batters without advancing the runners. One pitch from retiring the side, count 3-2, changes the total complexion of the game. At first look, the ball appeared to be going foul, but just manages with no inches to spare to be on the right side of the LF foul pole and just managed to clear the fence. That seemed to energize the Hokies who up to that point had been suffering from Cane Disease only having one hit going into the 5th inning. Following the HR, a walk, a HP would see a change of pitchers. Out with Schlesinger and in with Carlos Lequerica. The first batter faced, HP made the 3rd hit batter of the inning to load the bases. Fortunately, no further damage with Carlos needing just 4 pitches to record the strikeout ending the breakout inning for the Hokies to take the lead.
With the fifth, saw the swing of the pendulum in the direction of the Hokies which would never swing back. Chris Scinta in relief for Lequerica in the 6th, and the Hokies opened with a single. WP sent the runner to second. SAC back to Chris who elected to get the lead runner from second, leaving runners on the corners with no outs. BP is again in overdrive warming up with Andrew Walters waiting to come out. Carlos bears down striking out the next batter, bringing Gino out of the dugout and Andrew in from the BP to stop the bleeding. Two straight strikeouts to end the 6th and two more to start the 7th.
While the Hokies had changed the tide in the 5th, the Canes had nothing left to answer with the remainder of the game only able to get a single in the 7th and walk in the 8th, and striking out 6 more times.
We left off with Andrew having 4 straight strikeouts to end the 6th and the beginning of the 7th. Even Andrew could not stop the Machine of Hokie hitters after they found their spark in the 5th. Gio Cueto records his 2rd HR of the season and Wake’s 35th. Andrew appeared shaken walking the next batter on 5 pitches, bringing Gino once again to the mound with just 8 minutes to curfew time. Alex Walsh was brought in to record the final out.
Trailing by three runs and just squeezing in before curfew could be called Miami has one final chance to have a Hollywood ending. Winton-Salem is exactly Hollywood and all they were able to come up with was a solitary walk. Hokies take the series, but more importantly the SWEEP.
Offensively, other than Carlos’s HR there was NO offense. Another pitiful performance with the bats with just 4 other hits, all singles. Dominic Pitelli only player with multiple hits 2-3. Batters 3-8 in our lineup were 0-15. A very poor showing all weekend for the 17th rank team. Being 17th seems to be a curse. NCS and VT held that ranking before us and look what became of that. Going into next week with FIU on Tuesday 6PM and weekend series against the Noles they really need to prove that this was just a bad hiccup.