Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
For the second time in as many games, the Mercy Rule came into play with the FIU Panthers being the latest recipient. For the first five innings, it was scoreless baseball with the Canes only managing just two hits. The floodgates opened in the 6th like they did all weekend and it was the beginning of the end for the crosstown 305 rivals. Five runs on four hits in the 6th and five more runs in the 7th on five hits was all that was needed. Carlos Perez no out single with runners on second and third scored two bringing the score 10-0 and generating the Mercy Rule to the surprise of the Miami fans.
Shortest game of the season, lasting just two hours, Miami again went with Committee Pitching not having a mid-week pitcher. Ronaldo Gallo got the opening call going a scheduled three innings. A lead-off single, which could have easily been ruled an E1 was erased with a 5-4-3 DP. Ronaldo cruised through the second with a 3up/3down inning. Things got a bit dicey in the 3rd with a one-out single followed by a ground-rule double saving a run from scoring. It looked like another early exit but managed he to survive the 3rd without further damage(lineout to 2nd, K).
Miami wasn’t doing much better with their at-bats. Managed a two-out single (Yoyo) in the first and a two-out walk(Carrier) in the second and third(Edgardo).
Things got a bit more active in the 4th, again coming with two outs. Blake came through with a double to left center, advancing to 3rd on a WP. Dominic Walked putting runners on the corners. A pop-out by Carlos to the catcher kept the score scoreless at the end of 4.
It is like we own the 6th inning. The weekend series with Presbyterian 13 runs (4,4,5) marked the beginning of the end not only for the Blue Hose but for the Panthers as well. Ten batters stepped up to the plate and like Magic the bats became alive. Edgardo started the merry-go-round with an opening walk.
Then it was off to the races with a single by Yoyo, RBI double by Zach, a pair of RBIs by a Blake single, and Dominic getting hit by pitch before the Panthers, with a change of pitchers managed to get their first out. The reprieve was short-lived. Miami worked itself into a BL situation with a walk to Carlos. With two out, after Torres lined out to left, CJ’s single to center ends the scoring with 2 more runs ending the breakout inning 5-0.
Ben Chestnutt, relieving Ronaldo in the 4th held the Panthers hitless retiring all nine batters he faced, striking out 4. Carlos Lequerica carried the torch to pitch the 7th and probably would have concluded the game if it went for the full nine. He only needed nine pitches to keep the Panthers scoreless in the 7th.
With the bats finally starting to heat up in the 6th, they were blazing in the 7th. Who knows how many runs would have made it to the big board if it hadn’t been called after Carlos’s single scoring two having the game called still with no outs. Before Carlos’s finalization, 5 preceded him starting with Yoyo leading off the 7th with a single. Three hits followed (Cyr-single, Pitelli RBI single with BL, Carrier-2RBI double) after Zach was HP.
A slow start, but it appears everything is beginning to click into place. The bats need to start a bit earlier and not wait until the Magical 6th, but they are finally hitting with runners in scoring position. Tonight they were 7-13 and their overall hitting was .393. 10 Runs on 11 hits, none of which came from their signature long ball. Just two players with multiple numbers: Yoyo Morales 3-4; Blake Cyr 3-4(double,2RBIs). Additionally two with extra base: Doubles(Zack Levenson,Lorenzo Carrier).
Although working with only one starter, even the BP is becoming more formidable. Still have concerns with Gallo and Rosario but the rest of the BP with a couple of exceptions are beginning to step up. If and when Karson returns, it will be another arm to utilize from the BP. If and when he does return, he will be limited in his use.
This weekend, an important showdown against another set of Panthers, this being Pitt. National Pitcher of the Week Gage Ziehl on the mound Friday at 6PM in what hopes to be the start of another SWEEP.