Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The run for the Roses came up short in the 7th inning when Clemson put up an 8 spot to retake the lead. There was not enough left in the gas tank from a depleted BP to bounce back as Miami falls 11-5. It was Miami’s first appearance on Championship Sunday in 11 Years, and coming off an impressive victory yesterday against the #1 team in the nation, Wake Forest, the adrenaline was in high gear coming into today’s game. Ben Chestnutt got the starting call to take us into the home stretch but instantly fell into trouble in the first two innings having thrown 68 pitches and giving up 3 runs. Not being discouraged, the Miami offense responded with 5 unanswered runs to take a 5-3 lead which they held until the 7th. The 7th marked the beginning and the end of the Dream. With the empty signal flashing from the BP, Gino had nowhere to turn to on who to bring in. 7 runs was the result of what has been our Achilles Heel for most of the season. With a 6 run deficit and no pitching it was too much of a hill to climb and striking out 4 times with just one hit in the final two frames wasn’t what was needed to stage a Miami Magical Moment.
Ben Chestnutt, although his record doesn’t reflect it, has had his chestnuts roasted more times than I can count. Today was just a very poor showing coming at the worse possible time. 36 pitches were thrown in the first inning giving up two runs on three hits along with a walk and stolen base. The Tigers kept on roaring in the second adding another run with a Cam Cannarella homer to right. That would be the first of 3 HRs for the Tigers.Miami, as they have shown all Tournament has been resilient, letting loose with 5 unanswered runs over the course of the next 3 innings to take a 5-3 lead. Dominic got it rolling in the 3rd with a leadoff double and Jacoby followed with an RBI single who would eventually score himself on a WP. That put us within one and one inning later Zach tied the score smoking the Bull in left 393′ earning him a steak (which unfortunately he can’t collect(NCAA). This tied the game at 3. The 5th would be our most explosive inning where it looked like we were on the express lane once again. 8 batters to the plate leading off with a Jacoby single and RBI single by Blake. Miami loaded the bases and Renzo walked in the second run. Bases remained loaded with Carlos Perez coming to the plate who has been having a terrible series being 0-14 through the first three games. Already with 2 strikeouts today adds a 3rd strikeout leaving three stranded.
The express lane that Miami appeared to be on came crashing down when everything collapsed in the 7th. With the BP bone dry, the Tigers put on a hitting showcase sending 11 batters to the plate and coming away with 8 runs on 6 hits, two of which were a couple of barnburners accounting for 6 of the runs. A 2 out error by Edgardo in left dropping the ball accounted for 4 unearned runs that would follow.
After losing the lead in the 7th, all the energy seemed to drain only able to come up with one hit in the 8th (CJ-single) along with 4 Ks.Offensively not one of our better days with the bat only managing to hit .229. Strikeouts seem to follow us once again with 13. As been the problem all season failure to move the line. 2-13 with runners in scoring position and going 0-3 with BL leaving 12 stranded on base. Only two players with multiple numbers: CJ Kayfus 2-4; Jacoby Long 2-4(RBI). Doubles: Blake Cyr, Dominic Pitelli. HR: Zach Levenson.
Pitching today was what to expect when you have nothing in reserve. Ben Chestnutt was clobbered in the first three innings throwing 86 pitches and what was left of the BP was particularly ineffective in the 7th inning having to go with 4 separate pitchers. Hosting a Regional is the best chance to advance to the next level. If we had to travel, most likely our season would have ended in some far-away city.
We ended up losing but can hold our heads high in the great run he had. Three players made the All-Tournament Team: Zach Levenson, Yoyo Morales, and Andrew Walters. They gave us a great series along with so many others. CJ Kayfus, Blake Cyr, Renzo Gonzalez, and Jacoby Long. Any of these should be given honorable mention. They gave us great defensive plays and were consistent with the bat.
Monday at noon ESPN2 the announcement will be made officially that we will be hosting and what 3 schools will be joining us come next weekend.