Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Trailing by two runs in the 8th, the Cardiac Kids rally with three runs on 2 HRs by CJ Kayfus and Yoyo Morales to tie the game followed by a single up the middle by Renzo Gonzalez for the go-ahead run. For the second night, the services of Mr Reliability was brought in to seal the victory.
Miami already assured a slot in Saturday’s semi-finals were playing as if it was still up for decision. No changes to the lineup with Ronaldo Gallo getting the starting call. Duke got off to an early lead on a solo shot by Jay Beshears only to have the Canes answer with two of their own with an RBI single by Yoyo to right scoring CJ who opened the game reaching first on an E3 and advancing to 3rd on a single by Edgardo. Edgardo scored on a WP giving the Canes a 2-1 lead at the end of one.
For the next 3 innings we kept knocking on the door with multiple runners on base but failed in our usual manner of opening the door. Unable to move the line we were 3-17 doing so today. Another BL situation in the 4th goes by the wayside with Zach grounding out 5-3.
Duke tied the game in the 5th with lead-off batter Alex Storm homering to right, his first of two HRs today. After Ronaldo gave up another single, the call to the BP brought in Rafe Schlesinger, his second appearance in as many days. His productivity not the best giving up their 3rd HR to start the 6th by Alex Stone. This put Duke up by one and added another with the change of pitchers bringing in Alejandro Torres Hitting his first batter and surrendering an RBI single to extend the lead to two.
Miami was able to answer in the bottom half of the inning to retie the score on a 2RBI single by Yoyo. Jacoby opened the inning with a walk with CJ following with a single up the middle. The throw to third trying to get the speedy Jacoby was unsuccessful having CJ advanced to second on the throw. This set up Yoyo’s single to center scoring both Long and Kayfus.
The 8th is when things got crazy all around. Scored tied at 4. Carlos Lequerica relieved Torres after a two-out walk. Luke Storm on the second pitch drives the ball to right for his second homer of the day putting the Blue Devils in the lead by two. Five of their 6 runs came off the 4 HRs they sent sailing out of the park.
Trialing by two, it was time for the Cardiac Kids to set the wheels in motion. CJ started it off with #13 sending the rock 370′ into the RF bleachers. Two batters later it was Yoyo’s turn to do likewise, his travelling 396′. Score tied at 6. Back-to-back walks to Blake and Zach brings to the plate Renzo Gonzalez with two outs. Renzo finds the hold through the middle for the go-ahead run but possibly the nail sealing the fate of the Blue Devils. Hopefully, their body of work for the season would be enough for a bid, but after losing three straight to us in the regular season and one in Tournament play they just might be on the bubble; specifically for hosting.
Gino was not taking any chances holding a one-run lead and goes in our ace to pound that nail hard into place to confirm the victory. 14 pitches and two strikeouts picking up his 11th save of the season.
A little better showing offensively with 3 in multiple numbers: CJ Kayfus 3-5(HR,RBI); Renzo Gonzalez 3-4 (RBI); and the player of the game Yoyo Morales 3-5(HR,4RBIs). Team batting was overall .324. Strikeouts continue to haunt us with 13 and as mentioned earlier our continuing failure to move the line was only able to do so 3-14 times. The primary problem is striking out at the most inappropriate times.
The BP is getting a lot more work and with each outing, they seem to be improving. Although Ronaldo gave up two HRs, he pitched very well for 4.1 innings not giving up a walk and striking out five. What more can be said about our Closer? Without him, Ws very much could be Ls instead. He is definitely a blessing for where we are today.
We advance to the semi-finals tomorrow scheduled to be played at 1PM at the University of North Carolina Stadium against the #1 team in the nation Wake Forest. Chances of playing are slim to none with weather being the factor for the entire weekend. Most likely this was the last game to be played before the Regionals at home next week. NC and Clemson playing the other semi-final game scheduled for the same time at Bull Durham Stadium. Status and times should be posted on the ACC web page.