Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The clock is winding down as tonight was the final Friday tuneup before the regular season which kicks off a week from today. Not even rain could put the damper on the pitching prowess of our 6 hurlers tonight. The scouts were out again in numbers to observe primarily Alejandro Rosario and Alex McFarlane and fortunately, the weather held off until their rotation was completed on the mound. Between the two they collected 14 strikeouts while allowing 3 walks and 6 hits with each giving up 2 runs. Both started to show a little wear in the 3rd and 4th inning but for the most part, able to maintain a velocity of mid-90s offsetting speed to keep the batters a bit frustrated. Tonight, just reiterated the importance of quality pitching being able to go deep into the game. Our bats can only do so much as shown by lack of production compared to when they faced less quality pitching. Hitting took a back seat tonight only able to come away with 8 hits of which 3 were for extra bases. No player with multiple hits.
Alejandro Rosario and Alex McFarlane started the festivities. Rosario pitched 4 while McFarlane hung in for an extra-inning. Don’t know if that was scheduled or something might have happened to Rosario to prevent him from coming out to pitch the 5th. Alejandro opened strong throwing in the mid 90s striking out 4 for the first two innings. Continued the pace into the 3rd striking out the first two batters faced. Dominic Pitelli on his 2nd appearance, after striking out in the 1st, singled setting up Jacob Burke with the first scoring of the scrimmage. Jacob who had grounded out in the first got the proper read on the ball and hit a no-doubter way over the LF fence. In the 4th a noticeable drop-off in Alejandro’s pitching opening with Mike Rosario walking followed by Carrier singling. Ariel Garcia could not have hit it more perfectly for YoYo to field the ball right on the 3rd base pad. Touched the base and threw to 1st for the DP. Should clarify this in that YoYo did not actually throw the ball which he has consistently done through most of the spring training. Don’t know if there is something wrong with his throwing arm, but it has not taken away from his hitting. With a man on second, APO throws the ball into center advancing the runner to 3rd. Strikeout Henry Wallen to finish his day. Maybe Gino saw something With Rosario not being as sharp as he was earlier decided to forego the 5th and final inning
While Alejandro concluded his day at 4, Alex pitched for 5. The first 3 innings pitched were scoreless. Ran into problems in the 4th with a leadoff double by Zach Levenson followed up with a single by Edgardo Villegas scoring Zach and Edgardo takes second on the throw. WP advances Edgardo to 3rd. Pitelli walks putting runners on the corners setting up a double steal scenario. With no outs, Dominic breaks to second trying to draw the throw from Jones who is catching. Rather than letting him have second or SS cutting off the throw completes the out. The problem here is the ump had to decide on whether the runner was out or not and during this digression Edgardo waltzes on home. This cost a run and possibly a game in an actual situation. Two outs maybe take a chance, but not with no outs and a runner sitting on third waiting for a slow call from the ump or the ball not being cut off, as what happened tonight.
Both pitchers looked solid in the early innings, but on the second time at bat, the hitters, were getting a better look at the ball. This is going to be our concern with our starters going deep into the game and relying on the BP to bail them out and for our offense to put up early runs.
Jordan Dubberly, Ronaldo Gallo, Jamar Fairweather each pitched an inning and David Rossow started the 7th and only managed to pitch to just two batters before the rains got to a point that further play made it not safe for the players. Nothing notable to report on the performance of the 4 pitchers. Dubberly gave up a single followed by a DP. Gallo a walk and Fairweather hit a batter. Rossow walk his initial batter and a fail DP was the extent before the rains ended the last Friday scrimmage.
Offensively a step back tonight where the batters for the most part faced the front line of our pitching staff. They have been doing well hitting against the BP but not so much facing off against our potential starters. As earlier mentioned no one hit for multiple numbers and just two doubles (Dorian Gonzalez, Zach Levenson) for the 8 hits. Jacob Burke was in the spotlight with his blast deep over the LF fence.
Other than the wrong decision on that double steal in the 4th, I felt the defense once again handled themselves very well.
Tomorrow is the day so many of us have been waiting for as our favorite players return to the Light for one night only. Normally it is an opportunity to get autographs from all the players and coaches but COVID might prevent that from happening this year. Bring your cameras and chairback seats and enjoy an evening to remember. Game time is set for 6PM.