Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The headline tomorrow will read Miami takes the series from the Big Green shutting them down to no runs on just 6 hits, no walks, and striking out 10. However, the real story is Karson Ligon. He was brilliant in his first outing last week against Penn State. Tonight, he exceeded last week’s performance by throwing a shutout through seven innings never allowing the leadoff batter plus the second at-bat to reach first in 6 of the 7 innings pitched never exceeding 4 batters in any inning. Nor did he allow a walk striking out six. Gino could not ask more from his starting pitcher. Carlos Lequerica came in to pitch the final two innings allowing just two hits and striking out 4. If the excellence in tonight’s pitching wasn’t enough, the continuing saga of the power of the bat keeps the fans hungry for more. The bats once again came alive tonight with another two HRs to add to the already 17 That, plus something that is rarely seen back-to-back triples. Standout was Carlos Perez just a double away from completing the cycle. All of the starters contributed with at least one hit except Blake Cyr ending his 3 game-hitting streak. Zack Levenson continues to tear the skin off the ball reaching base on all 4 of his plate appearances bringing his average to .600 having hit safely in all 7 games. Tonight was a total team victory with textbook execution in all facets of the game.
Few changes in tonight’s lineup. Edgar moved up to bat first swapping with Dario who moved down to second. Also swapping out was CJ and Yoyo in the 3-4 slot. Not sure I understand this move in I would want to give more opportunity for Yoyo to bat. Tonight we saw the return of Dorian to the lineup playing second with Blake moving to DH. This was a perfect move in keeping the offensive punch of Blake in the lineup who has been lights out and reinserting Dorian for his far better defensive skills. The best of both worlds.
Karson did everything required of a starting pitcher. Not only did he not allow the leadoff batter to reach base, through the first 6 innings but no one got on base until two outs had been recorded and never got beyond first base. In the 7th inning, a one-hour double broke his streak but still maintained only facing 4 batters per inning. It was definitely the Karson Ligon Show. As earlier reported: no walks, and 6 strikeouts contributed to the shutout that was to follow.
Besides excellent pitching, it takes runs to win, and the Canes continued displaying their scourging display of pure power racking up more bombs leaving the ballpark along with extra-base hits. The one thing that needs work is RISP. Just 2-10 leaving 9 on the pads. The display of power started with the one person who wanted to make a statement. Dorian on his first at-bat after returning to the starting lineup shouted “Hear Me Roar” going 395′ to right center to start the scoring at 3-0. Welcome home, Dorian.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, two-inning later the duo of Carlos Perez and Dominic Pitelli provided a rarity seldom seen: back-to-back triples to the deepest parts of the ballpark. Edgardo followed with a SF to right to tack on two runs for the inning and extend Miami’s lead to 5-0 end of 4. Fast forward to the sixth and the adrenaline junkies in the stands got to celebrate once more with Carlos sending one over the scoreboard on a solo shot going 389′. The final extra-base hit came in the 8th with two outs. Jacoby Long, PH for Dario who finally broke out of his slump earlier with an infield hit, sends a burner line drive over 3B for a two-out double. Unfortunately, that was as far as he got. The importance of Jacoby’s double shows the amount of reserve power we have waiting in the dugout ready to be released to the ever-hungry fans who want more and even more to quench their hunger that we haven’t seen in many a year.
Offensively, 12 hits were pounded out tonight, 5 for extra bases; two of which were for HRs(Dorian Gonzalez,Carlos Perez). Doubles: Jacoby Long. Triples: (Carlos Perez, Dominic Pitelli. Only two batters with multiple hits: Zach Levenson 2-4 and player of the game Carlos Perez 3-3 (double shy of the cycle). In all fairness, Carlos never had the opportunity to take a crack at this coveted prize. He was PH in the 8th by Jack Scanlon who FO to center.
The pitching was excelente. Karson went deep, saving our BP for another day only requiring the call made once coming in the 8th. Carlos Lequerica answered the call and not only did as asked but struck out all three batters faced in the 9th to secure the shutout and clinch the series.
Tomorrow it will be Alejandro Rosario on the mound to bring it all home for the first sweep of the season. First pitch 1PM.