Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
A night to celebrate for the University of Miami. The men’s basketball team clinched the ACC title and earns the #1 seed for the ACC Tournament and our baseball team trailing by 5 runs going into the 6th inning lights up Condron Family Park with 13 unanswered runs to even the series at one as #22 Canes win decisively over the 6 ranked Gators 14-6. They did it with the bat with 4 HRs accounting for 7 of their runs and the key relief work of Chris Scinta coming in with BL in the 7th no-outs and holding them scoreless.
This game was billed as the Battle of Dueling Pitchers. Hurston Waldrop for 5 innings kept the Canes bats in gridlock striking out 12 batters only giving up a solo HR to Carlos Perez in the 3rd ( Miami’s 1st hit) to bring them within one run. Florida would get on the board early in the first with a 2 run shot by the nation’s leading HR hitter Jac Caglianone; the first of 2 HRs today. Karson settled in retiring the next nine batters without anyone reaching base. A walk would break the string but would finish the 4th leaving the runner stranded on first. Keeping Karson in after 81 pitches after giving up 4 runs in the 5th did not seem the wisest decision. Understandingly we have no BP and Gino was trying to make the best choice with limited resources. I foresee down the road pushing our starters beyond their limit is going to cost us when their arms are no longer there when they will be most needed for post-season play. Karson finished the 6th striking out two. Miami now trailing by 5, Blake would bring the game to within 3 with a 2-run shot to center traveling 412′ which would be his first of two HRs today. The turning point in the game came in the 7th which almost spell disaster for the Canes. Ronaldo Gallo, very unpredictable, lacking for a better term, loads the bases with an opening walk and back-to-back singles and no outs. At the most critical time in the game, Chris Scinta gets to call to bail out what could have broken the game wide open. Instead, this would be the Gators last Hoorah as they come away scoreless. With Waldrep leaving after 6 innings and having thrown 100 pitches striking out 14 Canes, the Miami bats finally struck back tying the game in the 7th and blowing out the Gator’s BP for 9 runs on 9 hits to even the series at one.
Changes to today’s lineup had Renzo Gonzalez replacing Dario Gomez who would bat 9th and play LF. Edgardo Villegas would move over to play center. Dorian Gonzalez replaced Blake Cyr at second batting 6th. Blake would be the DH instead of Ian Farrow and would bat 5th. Dominic Pitelli would moved up from batting 9th to 7th. Other changes have CJ batting 2nd, Yoyo batting 3rd and Zach in the cleanup position. Starting pitcher Karson Ligon.
Florida picked up where they left off taking the early lead in the first 2-0 on Caglianone’s 9th HR of the year. Rathered than being rattled, Karson retires the next 9 batters in order before giving up a walk. Miami seeking its first hit had to wait until the third with a Carlos Perez HR to bring the Canes to within one.
The 5th shows signs of tiring for Karson with the Gators answering with 4 runs on 3 hits to include a triple and a two-run homer by Caglianone his 10th of the season and second of the game. As earlier stated, in normal circumstances that should have been the end of Karson’s day. However, this year our pitching staff is not pitching under normal circumstances. Fortunate for the Canes, this would be the last of the scoring for the Gators. Miami would go on for 13 unanswered runs.
Started in the 6th with Blake Cyr first homer of the day Bringing in Zack Levenson who had led off the inning with a single. In the 7th Edgardo opened by being hit followed by singles from CJ and Yoyo(RBI). WP would send Yoyo home for the second run with Blake following with an RBI single to tie the game at 6. Miami took the lead in the 8th with 4 runs with Renzo Gonzalez opening the 8th with his first HR of the year going 408′ to center. An RBI walk to Blake after Zack was intentionally walked with BL. Dominic Pitelli blows the game open with a 2RBI double. The 9th with the game readily in hand Miami tacked on an additional 4 runs with a SF by Yoyo and Blake making a signature U running the bases for three runs which received a warning after Florida complained stirring the fans and the Florida bench. Interestingly nothing was said when the Gator Chop made its appearance on one of the Gator’s HR. Should make for an interesting rubber match tomorrow.
Offensively, the Miami bats finally came alive but only after their starter left the game. When they awoke, it was an open floodgate. Leading the charge was freshman sensation Blake “Hollywood” Cyr 3-5 with 2 HRs and 7 RBIs. Only one cane failed to hit: Dorian Gonzalez. Six Canes with multiple hits: Edgardo Villegas 2-5(double); CJ Kayfus 2-5(double);Zack Levenson 2-5;
Yoyo Morales 2-5(2RBI); Renzo Gonzalez 2-4(HR,RBI) Player of the game Blake Cyr which I mentioned earlier. Dominic Pitelli (double,2RBIs)
Chris Scinta records the win. Karson Ligon after a bumpy start in the first recovered nicely through 4 not allowing a hit with only a walk in the 4th. Concern about Gino running his pitch count high so early in the season. What this will do for his arm post-season is the question to be asked. The biggest concern was the move to bring in Andrew Walters with a 4 run lead in the 8th. Chris Scinta just pitched us out of a major jam only throwing 7 pitches. There was no reason to bring Walters in at this time. If Chris got in trouble in the 8th then bring in Walters. Compounding this, having an 8 run lead, Gino had no business keeping Walters in to pitch the 9th. We had an entire BP to choose from. Doubtful they would have surrendered the 8-run lead. Keeping Andrew to pitch the 9th all but eliminated utilizing him for tomorrow having thrown 35 pitches. If Gino decides to use him expect to see the same results as we saw at the end of last season with Andrew losing his effectiveness. We are going to see this with all our pitchers unfortunately if we keep stretching them at this point of the season. A win, but at what cost?
Rubber match tomorrow at High Noon. Alejandro Rosario is on the mound. Hope the right Andrew shows up and we don’t have to pull from the BP early. The other question is whether the bats will continue at the pace they had for the final 4 innings and how will the Gators respond to Blake’s flaunting the U as he rounded the bases. These questions and others will be answered tomorrow. Will be televised on the SEC network.