Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Miami will live to fight another game. This was the third game in 24 hours and was a heartstopper in determining who goes on to play Texas and who would go home as it would be the end of the season for them. Andrew Walters with runners on 1st and 3rd, one strike away, twice, from victory, for those who remember, were having flashbacks from last year’s Regional with Arizona and Ole Miss. Not to be, as Andrew throws a 93 MPH fastball as Conor Higgs takes a strike 3 call giving life to Miami and a showdown with the Texas Longhorns looking for payback.
In a must-win game, Alejandro Rosario in his best performance this season did just that throwing a high 114 pitches and lasting long enough, 6 innings, to hand the ball over to Andrew to close it out. The significance is that the BP stayed intact to pitch tonight with the exception of Rafe Schlesinger, who pitched 7 lights-out innings last night.
Miami made it clear that it came to play in the first inning with a three-run Blake Cyr homer,381′, to left-center, scoring Edgardo who was HP, and Yoyo his first hit of four for the day. Louisiana responded in the second taking advantage of a bad throw from Blake setting up an unearned run on a pair of singles that followed. Defense failed for the second time one inning later on a WP and the play at the plate was dropped by Rosario covering home plate to take the Ragin Cajuns to within a run.
Miami held on to a one-run lead through three, but unable to put anything in motion for the next 3 innings, striking out 6 times with only one base runner reaching first. Fast fwd to the 5th inning, Miami took advantage of an APO of Edgardo at 1st,E2, advanced runners to 2nd and 3rd setting it up for a 2RBI single for Yoyo giving Miami a 5-2 lead. Louisiana responded in the bottom half of the 5th with two runs on a pair of singles and a ground out to 1st bringing the score back to a one-run separation (5-4).
Rosario returned to pitch the 6th with a pitch count close to the century mark and closed in Rosario style with a screaming strikeout blazing in at 99MPH on the 114th pitch.
Miami added one run to their lead in the 7th with a 436 sonic blast by Yoyo over the CF wall giving the Canes a 6-4 lead. The Ragin Cajuns not ready to roll over struck back in the 8th with Andrew giving up his 5th Homer of the year to freshman Caleb Stelly his first of the year to bring the game back to within one run.
The 9th Miami puts the exclamation point on the game with a solo shot from Jacoby Long and adds the cherry on the cake with Yoyo’s second homer to give Miami a 3-run spread for the Master of the Mound. Nothing comes easy. A miscommunication, which would have been the final out, between CJ and Andrew as to who was to cover first instead had runners on 1st and 3rd with the tying run coming to the plate. For the second time in the inning, Andrew was one strike away. The count was 2-2 to Conor Higgs with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Andrew delivers a 92 MPH fastball for the 3rd strike and the opportunity to meet Texas in a rematch just a few hours away.
Offensively, it was all Yoyo Morales with a 4-5(2HRs,3RBIs) contribution to today’s win. Blake Cyr was the only other multiple hitter 2-4(double,HR,3RBI). Additionally Jacoby Long got his 3rd home run of the season. The bottom of the order (Pitelli, R.Gonzalez, Carlos Perez, Jacoby Long had 10 of the 11 strikeouts. Carlos Perez continued his hitless streak postseason slumping at 0-27 (0-4 with 3K today).
The 8-5 win gives Ronaldo Gallo and the BP the opportunity to meet with Texas tonight in the hope of seeing Championship Monday. First pitch 6PM.