Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The game was suspended at approximately 1025 tonight due to heavy rain and will resume at 1PM tomorrow. At the time of suspension, top of the 8th, Miami had a man on 3rd, one out, score tied at 7. There will be approx. 1-hour break before starting game 3.Miami coming into tonight’s game was riding on a total high after winning their first on-road ACC contest. Last night, they looked like the team that they were advertised to be, and yet tonight they were anything but. It was a total team win with good execution with the bat, on the field, and more importantly the BP of Torres and Walters. Tonight, it was a whole different story and what we saw has been a story of what we have seen all too frequently. No pitching and the bats going into slumberland. Miami picked up where they left off last night with the bats scourging taking an early 6-run lead only to see it slowly evaporate and finally seeing it not only gone but trailing by one at the end of the 6th. Miami tied it back up in the 7th on a SF and it looked like they finally heard a wakeup call in the 8th with a leadoff double by Ian Farrow who Perez advanced to third on a SAC when the rains halted play.
Miami went right to the juggler in the first inning with the first four batters reaching safely. CJ and Dario both walked, followed by Yoyo’s RBI single through the middle for the first score which Zach added to with a double to left, and before the Heel fans had a chance to warm their seats Miami had taken an early 2-0 lead. Still not done Dominic brings in the third run of the inning with a 6-3 groundout scoring Yoyo from 3rd.
In the 3rd, the Miami bats continued to stay hot with a pair of downtowners each over 400′ and each with their 9th of the season. Blake Cyr, 424′, off the CF wall and Carlos Perez, 411′, to left with one on. Miami sitting on a comfortable 6-0 lead. All cylinders seemed to be clicking including Alejandro Rosario who appeared in total control for the first two innings.
And that is where it all stopped. From 22 pitches thrown for the first 2 innings, Alejandro started losing the strike zone almost doubling his pitch count to 41 and opening the door for Carolina to slowly get back into the game. A run in the third, two in the 4th. The 4th was the real turning point in the game. A misplayed ball to center had Dario totally going in the wrong direction resulting in a triple and the floodgates opened.
Tarheels cutting the lead in half entered the 6th trailing by three and exiting leading by one. Three pitchers were used attempting to plug the flooding and the damage only grew. Ben Chestnutt was brought in to start the 6th and only lasted two batters, losing them both to a walk and single. Gino switched gears, with nowhere to go, bringing in last night’s reliever Alejandro Torres hoping to work the magic he had last night. The Tarheels burned him with four runs, two charged to Chestnutt, on 3 hits (single,triple,double). After 28 minutes Carlos Lequerica finally managed to end the bleeding but at the expense of 7 unaswered runs and looking at a depleted BP.Since the third, Miami manages a walk in the fifth, and a single in the sixth with nothing to show for it. It was like watching two different teams. The BP was flat and when Gino elected to go with Torres you knew the panic button had been hit. In the 7th, the bats started stirring with a lead-off walk to Dario and Zach’s one-out single putting runners on the corners. Blake having struck out twice looking, along with the HR, did what he was supposed to do with RISP; bring the runner on third home. SF to center did just that to tie the score at 7. The rain started falling just when it appeared the Canes were turning disaster into a comeback. The rains brought a stoppage just after Carolina switched pitchers and we had a man on 3rd one out with Carrier scheduled to bat.
It has not been a pleasant evening watching a 6-run lead dissipate with a BP that showed its true colors of not having it. When you see the same pitchers over and over, not getting the job done says a lot about the BP. You keep the same arms pitching game after game, and their arms will become shot as we saw tonight with Torres who pitched great Thurs. night but had nothing in the tank tonight. Imagine if we get back the lead, Andrew will be called out once again to end it, hopefully in short order. If we can not hold out, I see little chance in game three to take the series because the BP will be down to the barest in numbers. Expect two to three innings from what we have remaining. Without 4 quality starters, Miami is going to continually struggle for the remainder of the season. We are lucky to have possibly two and unknown as to when Karson will return to the rotation with tendonitis.
Guess we will have to wait until 1PM tomorrow to see how this plays out and hopefully, the Pitching by Committee BP can keep us in the final game of the series.