Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Feast or famine and today was definitely a feast of 11.5 innings under somewhat threatening skies. Managed to almost go through an uninterrupted session except for about a 40-minute delay in the 6th. Still, we finally got to see somewhat better pitching with a fair share of hitting mainly from our veterans. With the exhibition game tomorrow against FAU, Gino elected to go with six pitchers each throwing 4 innings apiece, with the exception of Gage Ziehl who pitched three. I assume precautionary measures were taken towards Dario Gomez and CJ Kayfus who would hit, but would not run out any ball in play or take on any field duties.
Today’s scrimmage opened with Karson Ligon throwing opposite Gage Ziehl. Both saw played key roles last year with Karson in a starting role and Gage as set-up for Andrew Walters. Both will be in the running for weekend rotation duties. As earlier mentioned, Gage was the only pitcher today to throw 3 innings. The other five threw four. Hopefully, this was how it was planned and not something preventing Gage from coming out to pitch in the 4th.
For the first three innings, Karson’s form appeared to have regained the confidence he showed early in last year’s season. In the second half of the season his performance dramatically dropped off, but he looked solid through the first three innings today only giving up a walk for the first 10 batters faced. In the 4th, either being tired or the batters were starting getting tuned in, gave up a pair of runs, one of the runs set up on an E2 APO at first with the ball going into RF. Opened the 4th hitting Jason Torres followed by a walk and single by Jacoby Long and Dorian Gonzalez. Torres was thrown out at home on Dorian’s single. The attempted P/O (E2) at first scored Long from 1st and had Dorian sitting on third because of the miscue. CJ Kayfus followed with a SF to center. Overall, a good outing and a definite consideration for the weekend starting rotation.
Gage, last year’s set-up pitcher, first two innings scoreless. The batters were not as generous with Gage as they were for Karson in the 1st. Dario Gomez opened with a single, but Dario’s pinch-runner got picked off at first ending, which could have set up the first score, with Yoyo singling two batters later. In the second inning, struck out the sides in rapid fashion. The easy-peasy second was quickly put to rest with a lead-off double by Zach Levenson, who would end up scoring on a Ray Bermudez single. Both pitchers had a commendable outing and both will be in the running for the coveted three-starter roles.
Alejandro Torres and Ronaldo Gallo up next each pitching 4 innings. Torres got off to an unmentionable start serving up the first home run of the day to Edgardo Villegas who drove it over the RF wall. Rebounded nicely striking out the next two batters (Carlos Perez, Zach Levenson) before Renzo Gonzalez flew out to center to end the inning. The 6th, black clouds hovered over the stadium starting with a slight drizzle and putting a halt to activities in a torrential downpour with 2 strikes on Yoyo, two outs, and a man on first (Pitelli single).
When play resumed only took one pitch to strike out Yoyo.No damage on the scoreboard for the next two innings, giving up a couple of singles but striking out an equal amount.
Another plus for the pitching staff.Ronaldo Gallo got off to a very shaky start with a pair of runs starting with an opening double by Dominic Pitelli followed by a Yoyo single. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, SF to center by Ian Farrow scoring Dominic. One batter later Kaden Martin brings home Yoyo. Things would settled down the remaining 3 innings, striking out 2 in the 6th and one in the 7th.Last set of pitchers Alex Walsh and Gunther Braendel, both freshman, not showing the quality of those before them.
Three run 10th by Walsh set up with back-to-back singles by Gabby Gutierrez and Lorenzo Carrier, advancing to 2nd and 3rd on a 3-1 ground out by Jack Scanlon, setting up the first score on a 5-3 ground out by Jason Torres. Jacoby Long, 5th batter up, ended the inning with a 2 RBI single. No further damage with a 3up/3down 11th and 12th.Lastly, Gunther was blemished both in the 8th and 9th. The first batter he faced in the 8th, Jack Scalon ruined his day with a solo blast to right center. Two batters later, Jacoby Long got things rolling again with a double and a botch APO at second sent Long to third. CJ Kayfus being the 5th and final batter of the inning used it to good use with a SF to left.
The 9th saw the defensive play of the day by Yoyo fielding a beautifully executed bunt by Blake Cyr who was thrown out sliding head first into first. Any other third baseman would not have been able to make the play. Yoyo received a rousing ovation from the fans and fellow players. Edgardo also tried the same in the 11th with similar results. Returning to the 9th, after the bunt attempt a walk to Edgardo who steals second and comes home on a RBI single. A recovery 10th striking out the 1st 2 batters faced in a 3 batter inning. Gunther ended his day with a 3up/3down 11th.Still concerned on what the freshman will be able to contribute from the BP. We might be in for rocky times if they can’t show better progress before the regular season.
While the pitching crew had a fairly productive showing so did the hitters with 5 batters having multiple hits: Yoyo Morales 2-4; Gabby Gutierrez 2-4; Lorenzo Carrier 2-4; Jacoby Long 2-4 (double); and Dominic Pitelli, offensive hitter of the day, 3-5 (double). Additionally, double by Zach Levenson for his lone hit of the day. Edgardo Villegas and Jack Scalon made the rounds of the bases with solo HR each.Defensively 2 attempted pick off by the catching crew resulted in runs scored. No other errors by the other position players.Tomorrow they take the show on the road to FAU for a 12 inning scrimmage. Start time 1250pm. Have other commitments, so I won’t be making the trip.
Will catch the Sunday scrimmage starting at 1115AM for supposedly 8 innings.