Canes Baseball: #23 Miami Takes Midweek Game From UCF In Blowout Fashion, 14-3

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami coming off of a 3-game sweep of the Seminoles did not back off on the throttle, winning their 9th straight home game in grandiose fashion. It has taken half the season, but it appears that all facets of their game are finally coming together. Their hitting which at times seemed to have taken the night off was definitely not the case tonight. They were getting warmed up with the Noles and exploded tonight putting on a hitting clinic not only from their starters but more so with the reserves waiting for the opportunity and tonight they delivered. Defensive play has been solid and the pitching, once our Achilles Heel appears no more. The BP has provided excellent relief when their number is called. As for our starters, as shown by this past weekend they have been in for the long haul and tonight’s starter Alejandro Torres pitched three innings, faced nine batters, all outs, five by way of the K. Tonight was a total team win collecting 16 hits for 14 runs and sending the Knights back to Orlando with a disappointing 3 runs.

Gino appears to have finally settled into a lineup that he feels comfortable with.  After tonight it might be a different story as the reserves definitely were heard from which might cause a slight shakeup to come this weekend. With a team that has an overabundance of really good hitters, any one of our reserves could be a starter on another team. Ian Farrow just might be that one reserve to see his role change From sometime DH to starting in RF. Zach will move to left benching Edgardo who has been in a bit of a slump. We still have no regular midweek starter with Gino deciding to go with Pitching by Committee. Alejandro Torres got the starting call.

Torres was rock solid on the mound never once giving the Knights an opportunity to become a player. Nine batters faced and 5 of the nine returning to the dugout hearing the left-right chant from the Miami faithful. While the Knights were struggling at the plate, the Canes took advantage of getting the leadoff batter on (7 of 8 innings) and turning it into runs. Miami struck first in the second inning with the first three batters reaching base before the first out, putting one run on the board. Cyr opened with a single, followed by Dario Gomez walking. This set up the first run with a Dominic Pitelli double to right scoring Cyr. After Carlos grounded out 5-3,  Dorian with runners on 2nd and 3rd, doubled to right giving Miami a 3-0 lead. This was the start of the Canes finally responding with runners in scoring position. Tonight we were 6-13.

The Knights finally got on the board with a change of pitchers in the 4th. Definitely, no reason to remove Alejandro, but Gino wants minimum exposure saving all arms for the weekend. Ben Chestnutt in relief of Torres ran into a bit of trouble with back-to-back hits (double,single) to give the knight a run and put them the closest they would get to a soon runaway Cane train. Miami answered in the bottom half of the inning with their 60th HR of the season. Coming into tonight’s game we were ranked 7th in the nation in HRs. Dominic with one on went yard to right 395′ for his 5th of the year. Dario led off the inning reaching first on an E6.

Two innings later(6th), Carlos led off with a single to left. Dorian SAC back to the pitcher who decided to attempt the get the lead runner ruled safe (review). CJ singled to 1st. Confusion on coverage at the bag resulted in CJ reaching safely. BL, Ian Fallow PH for Edgardo (0-3) delivers, clearing the bases with a triple to right. Yoyo cleared the base pads with a SF to left for a 4-run inning and extended the score to 9-1.

It was time to bring out the reserves and they definitely answered the call. With a 9-1 lead The pitcher who I have been very critical of this season was given the opportunity to prove that he is not a total loss to the team. Sporting an ERA of over 13, with that lead how much damage could he cause? Instead, he showed a different Rolando Gallo on the mound. Instead of throwing nothing but fastballs, he diversified his repertoire striking out two of the three batters he faced. The new Rolando looks to be a formidable weapon that will not be held in deep reserve any longer. 

Gino very satisfied with Rolando’s 11-pitch inning switched directions bringing in Chris Scinta to pitch the 8th. After 3 scoreless innings, with only one hit recorded, UCF had something working for them loading the bases resulting from an opening single and a pair of walks. The drought ended with a SF to right. What should have been the final out, instead Jason Torres misplays an MLB popup,E5, giving UCF their second run of the inning and their last for the game. 

With the lead now at 8-3 going into the bottom half of the 8th, the long-awaiting reserves took to the plate and stretch their muscles. Renzo Gonzalez started the music leading off, replacing CJ Kayfus, and delivers his 3rd yarder of the year taking the shot to left 358′. Ian, after his triple in the 6th, follows Renzo with a double. Jason redeems himself from the error in the top half of the inning with his 3rd HR of the season,406′, and our 62nd of the season. Not done yet, the bases cleared Gaby Gutierrez gets things moving again reaching base on an E6. WP moves Gaby to second setting up Lorenzo Carrier, PH for Cyr, doubles to left scoring Gaby from second. Another WP advanced Carrier to third for Dominic to bring him home for the 5th run of the inning with a SF. This just shows the explosiveness that is ready to be unleashed from the reserves given the opportunity to make their contribution to the team. 

Another breakout game for the Canes. Those sleeping bats are no longer. 16 hits that turned into 14 runs show productivity building on the 13 runs, and 12 hits from the prior game again the Noles. This will hopefully carry over to the weekend series against Virginia. Four with multiple numbers: CJ Kayfus 3-4; Ian Farrow 2-2 (double,triple,3RBIs); Blake Cyr 2-3; Dominic Pitelli 2-4(double,HR,4RBIs). Additionally with doubles: Lorenzo Carrier and Dorian Gonzalez. Along with Dominic, Renzo Gonzalez and Jason Torres added to the HR totals. It was a very productive night from the starting 9 and the bench.

Pitching continues to be the shining light coming from the starters and the BP. Alejandro Torres, you could not have been asked for more taking down all nine players he faced striking out 5 of the 9 faced. Whether Gino continues with mid-week Pitching by Committee or hands the rock over to Alejandro is yet to be seen. The BP is getting the exposure and with it, they are getting results. We must have an effective BP if we expect to get anywhere post-season and utilizing several pitchers midweek, and building their confidence is doing just that. The BP continues to improve with each outing.

The pitching and the Offense are going to put everything they have done to date in full motion come this weekend against the 7th-rank Cavaliers in an ACC Coastal Showdown. Gametime: Friday 6PM


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