Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
With so much on the line: Conference champion, high seeding in the Tournament, and hosting a Regional, Miami fell on its sword in one of their worse games offensively losing the opener to the Blue Devils 5-3. They are going to have to win the next two and Virginia to lose their remaining games if Miami hopes to salvage any chance of realistically proceeding beyond just the Regionals. With the pitching staff in shambles, they can not afford not to be a host team. Additionally, if they drop their first two Tournament games, like they have done the last two seasons, consider this season another year of failing to meet their preseason expectations
Tonight, Miami was only able to muster just 3 hits, striking out an unbelievable 16 times, 14 of which came after the 3rd inning. The last 5 innings they only managed to have three players reach first base. The only chance they showed some semblance of getting back into the ballgame came in the 8th inning with men on 1st and 2nd (single,walk) with nobody out. The heart of our order was up trailing by two. Jacoby Long strikes out. Yoyo Morales strikes out. Lastly, Blake Cyr joins his fellow compadres striking out and looking at the third strike. So went the inning and so went the game.
Miami after a very disappointing first inning striking out twice, Zack recorded the team’s 100 HR of the season crushing the ball 410′ to left center to give Miami an early 2-0 lead after two. Duke closed the margin to 2-1 with a solo homer off the scoreboard in the 4th only to have Miami answer with one of their own in the bottom half of the inning from Yoyo; his 13th of the year traveling 414′. With no further hitting, Miami somehow held onto the two-run advantage until the 6th inning. Gage gave up his second HR of the game moving the Blue Devils to within one. They tied the game one inning later and in the 8th took the lead with an insurance run in the 9th. Four unanswered runs in the final 4 innings.
Tonight was a total team failure. Batting just .100 overall not one player with multiple numbers to even talk about. Two HRs (Zach,Yoyo) and one single (Renzo Gonzalez) were all this team could muster after delivering 15 hits and 17 runs Tuesday night against cross-town rival FIU. True you can’t compare oranges and apples between the two teams but still ONLY three hits is all tonight’s team could come up with. Without the HR, it would have been an uglier evening. What can be said is that everyone in the starting lineup had at least one strikeout. Multiple strikeouts tonight: CJ Kayfus-2; Jacoby Long-2; Yoyo Morales-2; Blake Cyr-3; Lorenzo Carrier-3. What more can be said? This sums up what type of an evening this was.
Pitching-wise through five innings Gage managed to hold Duke to one run (HR) coming in the 4th. Completed 6 innings striking out 5 surrendering a second HR in the 6th. Relievers Lequerica (2) and Torres (1) each gave up runs and Schlesinger only lasted one batter after giving up an RBI single which was charged to Lequerica. I am sure we will see them again before the series is concluded. It will be all hands on deck to try to salvage the series.
We will have to put this game behind us with all its implications and come out strong tomorrow with first pitch at 7PM. Starting pitcher yet to be determine. If it is Rosario or someone else, it will definitely resort to the BP once again.