Canes Baseball: Miami Defeats FIU In 17-3 Blowout

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami decisively earned the bragging rights of the 305 sweeping the Panthers in dramatic fashion 17-3 connecting with their 97th, 98th, and 99th homer of the year. The Panthers took the early lead in the 1st on a solo homer only to watch it vanish in the 3rd with WPs and small ball. The bats were only getting warmed up scoring in every inning except the 7th. The Panthers with a pair of HRs in the 4th was the closest they would come to the runaway train of the Canes. At 5-3, it would be the last the Panthers would see of a score. From that point on it was the BP taking charge not letting a baserunner reach base via a hit and the explosiveness of the Miami bat. The game was put to bed in the 5th with a 5 spot on the scoreboard made possible by Dominic Pitelli’s  4th career Grand Salami. Miami would put the exclamation point to their bragging rights making sure the Panthers know who owes the 305 by sending 11 players to the plate in the 9th and taking away another 5 runs to finalize the crowning at 17-3.

With no regular mid-week starter, Ben Chestnutt got the opening call which would only last 2.1 innings after giving up a 1st inning homer off the scoreboard to give the Panthers the initial lead of 1-0. The BP in their supporting role, Ben found himself struggling relinquishing 4 hits through 2.1 innings and relief was the order of what we have seen from our relievers a good part of the season. Chris Scinta was brought in the 3rd after back-to-back singles which Chris resolved with a pair of strikeouts. 

It took until the 3rd, for Miami to retaliate from the one-run deficit. They ended the first two innings with DPs which had to shake one’s head thinking it was going to be one of those nights. Ian Farrow would open the 3rd by getting hit which started the ball rolling with back-to-back hits by Carlos and Jacoby (squeeze bunt) to tie the score at one. An error by their 2nd baseman and WP made it one more and the lead only stretched out as the game progressed.

By the 4th inning, it was time to return to the long ball. Blake opened the 4th with his 14th of the year. Control problems were the order of the day for the Panther pitcher hitting their 2nd batter (Carlos) in as many innings squeezed in between a pair of walks to load the bases. Back to the top of the order CJ with bases loaded picks up a pair of RBIs through the right side with a single.

Trailing 5-1, the Panthers were not yet ready to roll over and concede to the more dominant team. They left a final farewell with a pair of HRs and back-to-back singles sending Scinta to the showers to join Chestnutt. Who to choose from some unlikely candidates? Gino went with Rafe Schlesinger and struck pay dirt. For the 2.1 innings, he retired 7 of the 8 batters he faced only giving up a walk in the 5th. Even Alejandro Rosario who relieved Rafe deserves positive mention for a change pitching two hitless/scoreless innings. Maybe the BP is where he belongs, because he has shown repeatedly that he is not a starter. 

While Schlesinger and Rosario were keeping the Panthers off the base pads and scoreboard, the bats were not taking any time off. After putting up a 3 spot in the 4th, Miami worked themselves into a BL situation for the second consecutive inning on a single(Yoyo ) and pair of walks(Blake,Dominic). Ian almost hitting it out of the park to right and had to settle for a SF upping the score to 6-3.

The 6th, the Panther realized that they were finally caged with a solo HR by Jacoby to open the inning and the bases-clearing 4th Grand Slam of Dominic’s career to make the game for all practical purposes unreachable. Even Miami couldn’t blow an 11-3 lead and I bite my tongue saying that. 

Miami takes the 7th off from scoring any runs but went right back at it in the 8th With an RBI single by Dominic after Blake walked to open the inning and Gaby, PH for Zach, singles.

The 9th was the crowning touch to an evening which had everyone in the starting nine with at least a hit except for Edgardo and Ian. Eleven players came to the plate, having BL twice, and finishing the 5 run finale with 3 hits, of which two were for doubles(CJ,Dominic), 4 walks and one hit batter. 

Call it what you want but 15 hits was a big night for the Canes confidence level. They are going to need it for the important series with Duke to possibly determine the Coastal Conference Champions. They are going to need a little help from GT in taking down the Hokies which currently holds the top spot. Four Canes with multiple numbers: CJ Kayfus 2-4(2RBIs); Yoyo Morales 2-5;Jacoby Long 2-4(HR,2RBIs); and the Player of the Game Dominic Pitelli 3-5(double,HR,7RBIs).

It was an evening of Pitching by Committee. The two who normally near the top of the list to be called (Chestnutt, Scinta) got hit pretty hard. Rafe Schlesinger just might have found himself moved up in the pitching charts with his showing tonight. Possibly with the pressure off of him, we might be better off keeping Rosario in the BP because tonight he gave us a very good two innings. Probably not going to happen because Gino just is not ready to concede, like everyone else has already done so, with Rosario starting.

The series with Duke is too important to even think of starting Rosario or for that matter Gallo. A starter is supposed to last more than 3 innings these two fail most every time. We will have to wait if we will see any time from Karson or is being kept for Tournament play or later? These and other questions will start to be answered  with the first pitch Thursday 7PM 


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