Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Team Green taking a 1-0 series lead in the best of three, once again came out with bats blazing to take Game two in decisive fashion 16-9. Never falling behind a struggling Orange team they took an early 5-0 lead into the third before Orange managed to put some runs on the board. It wasn’t until the 7th that Team Green put the series to rest scoring 10 runs over the course of the next 3 innings. Team Orange tried to answer the floodgates opening in the 7th with a scoring barrage of their own putting up 5 runs in a losing effort.
Another day where the bats were BATTING, and the pitching was definitely NOT pitching. Not even our Flagship Pitcher Andrew Walters could register a favorable outing joining the hapless train of pitching performances we have seen this preseason. While our pitchers have been performing miserably, the bats keep zinging with hit after hit. Another 27 combined hits were put up on the board along with 25 runs total. Twelve hits for extra bases, including 6 HRs and a triple. The pondering question on whether we should be concerned about our pitching crew this season. The answer is an emphatic YES. I have been following Cane baseball since ’01 and I can’t remember seeing the state of affairs pitching-wise any worse. On the flip side, the offensive punch is awesome. Whether because of the quality of pitching they are facing and knowing the pitchers, but these past two days they have been stroking the ball with power and smarts. Actually seeing beautifully executed bunts which have never been a part of the offensive package. The kids are aggressive on the base pads and the fielding has taken several notches up in providing web gem moments. However, the third part of the trifecta being pitching is going to kill us unless JD can’t come up with a miracle.
Scouts were out in force to watch Andrew Walters on what they hoped would be a pitching clinic. Instead, the clinic was put on Andrew with the hitting machine of Green putting a show of their own. Five runs, scoring in each of the first three innings, highlighted with a pair of HRs in the third. I really think JD is going to have to seriously consider that Andrew is not a starter, but needs to return to his duties as the Closer where he was most effective last year. To Andrew’s credit, he had 9 strikeouts, four coming in a row. Andrew started off great striking out Jacoby Long but following the strikeout walking Edgardo Villegas and having Yoyo ring up the first run with an RBI double bringing home Edgardo who stole second. The second inning did not start off well with a lead-off Downtowner by Dominic Pitelli off the scoreboard. Maybe that was a wake-up call for “Closer” Andrew is what we were all so familiar seeing: strikeouts. Four straight Ks followed, taking Andrew into the 3rd with one out. It was derailment that followed. A single by Edgardo, and Yoyo seeking the opposite side of the LF wall for a 2RBI round-tripper. Two batters later, Ian Farrow followed in Yoyo’s footsteps with a distance maker of his own. Three HRs over 2 innings; very unlike Andrew.
Green Team put up 5 runs before Orange had a reply with three of the own coming in the third. Rafe Schlesinger pitching for Green kept Orange off the scoreboard for the first two innings. Rafe pitched himself out of a jam in the first with back-to-back singles by Dario Gomez and Blake Cyr and walking CJ Kayfus to load the bases; no outs. What could have been a breakout inning turned south with Zach Levenson and Dorian Gonzalez both striking out. In the second inning, it was a quick 3up/3down performance. The batters having seen what Rafe had to offer, their second trip to the plate and turned south for Rafe. Eight batters came to the plate, scoring three runs on three hits. Blake reached first with a one-out walk. CJ executed a beautiful SAC resulting in an infield hit. Runners on 1st and 2nd, Zach clears the bases with a triple and Dorian follows with an RBI SF to center. With the bases cleared Carlos Perez strikes with a double and advanced to third on a balk. Gaby Gutierrez walks, and steals second but with runners on 2nd and 3rd, the 8th batter Jason Torres lines to second ending the inning. Scoreless fourth and Rafe came out in the 5th to get the 1st two outs before being relieved after walking Carlos Perez and throwing a WP to advance him to 2nd. Ashton Crowther came in relief with a runner on second, two outs. Gaby smelling fresh meat on the mound singles in Carlos from second. At the end of three, the score was 5-3 Green.
Scoring would not resumed until the 5th with Ed Walsh for Orange on the mound and Ashton who would remain to pitch the rest of the session. Each team scored one run in the 5th. Green coming on an RBI single by Ian Farrow bringing in Renzo Gonzalez who earlier doubled. Orange’s run coming off the bat of Gaby also with an RBI single scoring Carlos Perez who walked advancing to second of WP.
The 6th was scoreless by both sides. Action resumed in the 7th seeing a total of 15 runs being put up on the boards in a major slugfest with Green having ownership with 10 of the 15 runs.
Ed Walsh can take credit for Orange with Green’s four runs in the 7th. Edgardo opened with a walk and Yoyo hitting his second homer of the day so high over the scoreboard that I think it went into orbit over the track field never to be seen again. Renzo followed with a walk. Ian continued his hitting outbreak today with his third hit going to right for a double and huffing his way all the way home on a high throw to the plate scoring Renzo advancing Ian to third. Perez, catching, throws high to 3rd trying to get Ian only to see the ball sail into left and Ian coming on home over the miscue. The runs would stop at four, but the defensive play of the game came in the same inning by Blake Cyr with a jumping diving catch playing short for the first out. The 7th had a bit of craziness on both sides of the inning.
Orange added to the mayhem with 3 runs of their own coming off a one-out solo shot by Zach, followed by a walk to Dorian advancing to second on a WP and coming home with an RBI double by Carlos Perez. Gaby brings home, Dorian on an RBI single. A 5-4-3 DP slowed the rally down and ended the inning
We moved to the 8th and Ryan Fry comes in to pitch for Orange. Coming off of a 4-run 7th, Orange strikes for a second 4-run inning headlined by a 3 RBI cloud buster by Ian Farrow, his second of the day, sitting side-by-side with Yoyo who also had two homers today. The other run came right before Ian’s homer with an RBI single by Renzo scoring Yoyo who had walked prior. Green could only answer with one of their own coming on an RBI ground-rule double by Blake Cyr scoring Dario who reached first on a E1 fielding error.
The 9th was a bit of a slowdown for Green after putting up 8 runs in the past 2 innings. Only put two on the board, but the inning was shortened when Fry was unable to continue after receiving a line drive back at him by Renzo. Up until that point Fry was once again as I put in one of his earlier performances getting “fried”. A lead-off walk to JacK Scanion, Ray Bermudez singling, with Jacoby being hit to load the bases. 4-6 ground out scored Jack putting running on the corners. For the safety of the pitcher after the RBI deflected RBI single, the top half of the 9th ended with one out runners on the corners.
Orange managed getting one of the two runs back with an RBI double by Gaby. Not nearly enough for Orange to make a comeback, losing the game and series to Team Green by a score of 16-9.
It was another massive display of hitting by both sides at the expense of our pitching ensemble of 5 pitchers. Many with extra hits today, six coming by way of the long ball(Yoyo Morales(2);Ian Farrow(2); Dominic Pitelli;Zach Levenson). One triple: Zach Levenson and 5 doubles(Blake Cyr,Carlos Perez(2) Yoyo,Ian). With a total of 27 hits, 9 players had a multiple-hit day( Dario Gomez 2-5; Blake Cyr 2-4; Zach Levenson 2-5; Carlos Perez 2-3; Gaby Gutierrez 3-4; Jacoby Long 2-5; Yoyo Morales 3-3; Renzo Gonzalez 2-5; Ian Farrow 4-5). Difficult to pick Offensive Player of the Day because there were so many. Have to go with co-honors to Yoyo with his 2 HRs and a double accounting for 5 RBIs and Ian Farrow also with a pair of HRs double, single also with 5 RBIs.
Today was definitely a hitting demonstration at the expense of our pitchers. We are loaded with hitters and it will be tough trying to come up with a starting lineup, especially with the OF where we are really loaded. Gino has a treasure trove to pick from. It is the pitching that major concerns me. We don’t have anyone that I feel confident with to take command on the mound.
The Canes close out the weekend with a five-inning intrasquad scrimmage at 11:15 a.m. Sunday. See you at The Light!