Canes Baseball: Alumni Game

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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With over 70 returnees we got to honor once again our heroes of yesterday and ventured a look at the team that will be carrying the banner for the 2023 season. A few of the old warriors can still swing a bat and throw the rock. The outcome was irrelevant. The oldsters were there to have fun and if they got a hit or the pitching recorded a strikeout that was a bonus. For the scouts and first-time viewers, it was more of a look as to what to expect in the forthcoming season. Nobody walked away disappointed and left with positive expectations for this year’s team. The offense was awesome belting out 16 hits with 7 for extra bases. To thrill the fans three of them cleared the yard. For the most part, the old arms kept our players in check with the exception of the 4th inning which became the difference maker. The 4th was a showcase performance headlined by CJ Kayfus who opened the inning with a solo HR and closed the inning pounding the scoreboard with his second HR of the inning. This time he had a man on board to congratulate him as he crossed home plate for the second time in one inning. What started the inning at 1-0, CJ and nine others changed that to 9-0. To add to the HR derby put on by CJ, Ian Farrow one inning later went stratosphere-bound himself, his ball getting lost in the lights while sailing over the scoreboard. At 10-0, the Alums didn’t roll over and scream uncle, but instead behind the legends Victor Melendez opened with a double and John Jay with one out RBI single in the 6th sparked a 3-run rally. With new life coming from their dugout, it wasn’t enough for them to perform their Miracle at the Light as the Hurricanes rebound with one more in the bottom of the inning to cushion their lead to  11-3. It was cruise control sailing after the turbulent 6th closing with Brian, NOT Andrew, with three straight strikeouts after giving up an initial walk. 

For the Hurricanes, it was a thrill playing against their heroes they grew up and dreamed of one day being like them. Tonight, these dreams were fulfilled and they are now ready to create ones of their own knowing one day, years from now, they will return to the Light as our heroes of the past playing against the stars of the future.

Alejandro Rosario took the honors to open against the Alum and put up respectable numbers for the 4 scoreless innings he pitched. Pitching in the high 90’s, 5 went down by way of strikeout. Alejandro was never in real trouble. In the first, Adrian Del Castillo managed a two-out double left stranded on second. In the second, opening singles by Willie Abreu and David Thompson met a similar fate of going nowhere. This was the Rosario that we hope to see when it all counts. 

After Rosario, it was one inning apiece For Andrew Walters who came in to relieve Alejandro to pitch the 5th followed by Ronaldo Gallo, Rafe Schlesinger, Alejandro Torres, finishing with Brian Walters. Every pitcher gave a commendable performance with the exception of Ronaldo who continues to struggle to find his way around on the mound. the Alum struck for three runs on three hits and one walk. The final run was unforgivable when catcher Jack Scanlon could not hold on to the ball that should have been the 3rd out. Still, It was another bad outing from Ronaldo and if there is any inkling from JD to have him start remotely during mid-week, it should definitely be put to bed. 

The Canes were slow in getting started themselves. Might be early jitters or playing against their heroes, but it was CJ Kayfus with two outs in the first that stirred the fires for the offense. It wasn’t until the third With a lead-off double by Carlos Perez followed two batters later by Dario Gomez’s CF double that got the Canes on the board for their first run.

The 4th would be the difference maker. The Alum would send side arm Cooper Hammond to the mound and for the Canes, it became batting practice. For most, this was their first at-bat against a submariner. Ask them now and they will tell you that is what they would like to see all season long. 11 batters starting with CJ and ending with same with a pair of bombs. All toll, 8 hits including a triple by Dominic Pitelli. After CJ’s second trip around the bases, Coop had had enough for one inning not finding the final out.

The Canes would add another score in the 5th with a Ian Farrow orbit shot making the score 10-0 before the Alum had an answer with three of their own. The Canes would have one more scoring drive in the 6th to make it 11-3 behind a two out double by Blake Cyr coming home on a Gaby Gutierrez single.

Except for the 8-run outburst in the 4th, the Alum played the Canes to a very close contest. They need more productivity spread out. The pitching for tonight gives me somewhat hope but the real test is still yet to come. This was a confidence builder. For the most part, it was just that. Alejandro earned a starting call for next week’s opener, and Ronaldo needs to rethink his chance to ever start again . As for Brian Walters, he is giving a head’s up for Closer come next year. For now, it is Big Brother’s job.

Offensively, it was a night for the bats to shine. 16 hits spread out for 11 runs. Four players with multiple hits. Dario Gomez 2-3(double,2RBIs); CJ Kayfus 3-3(2HR,4RBIs); Yoyo Morales 2-3; Ian Farrow 2-3(HR,2RBIs). With the three HRs, there were 4 extra-base hits to add to the treasure chest: Dario Gomez(double) Blake Cyr(double); Carlos Perez(double); and finally Dominic Pitelli(triple).

One more scrimmage is to be played this week. 9 innings scheduled for tomorrow. First pitch at 11AM.

Image courtesy of University of Miami Social Media.


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