Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The Panthers were all over Miami’s miscues to even the series at one apiece. Pitt did it on only 4 hits hitting .148 for the day. The story is not how many hits one gets but how it is utilized. Miami had 10 hits but as been the problem all season they were untimely not being able to move the baserunners around the pad. They left 11 on base and with runners in scoring position just 1-14. Striking out 12 times Just added more fuel to the fire. Pitt didn’t really need many hits when the Cane pitching staff relinquished 10 timely walks for Pitt setting up a Grand Slam in the 3rd followed by a two-out triple the following inning. Six runs set up by 6 walks. The insurance run in the 7th with back-to-back errors was the icing on the cake ending a very disappointing performance by Miami. Gino perfectly summarized it after the Game:“It’s a shame that we let this get away from us because we really beat ourselves,
Headling, the list was starting pitcher Alejandro Rosario who once again never got beyond the third inning. Last week 6 innings and 12 strikeouts without relinquishing a single walk. Today he showed what he has shown all season, no control and early departure. 41 pitches through the first two innings without a score but comes the 3rd inning and everything turns to, put it mildly, crap. The first 4 batters faced, he walks three to load the bases. This could have been prevented if not for Cyr not being able to execute a DP. Yoyo makes a great stop, but Blake doesn’t have the arm to turn the DP. Rosario is about to walk in a run, but Kyle Hess decides otherwise and that 4 RBIs are better than one taking a 3-2 count and delivering with a grand slam. After walking his 4th batter for the inning and hitting one, Gino finally sees the Big Picture and sends Rosario on his all-familiar walk back to the dugout once again not living up to expectations.
The Grand Slam put the Panthers in the lead after CJ Kayfus in the top of the inning delivered his 11th homer of the season, 367′ left-center to give Miami an early 2-0 lead.
With Rosario’s departure, Ben Chestnutt stepped in but did nothing to improve the picture. He only smeared it a bit more. with a bit of help once again Cyr not being able to turn a DP. Like the 3rd, walks became the order of the day, this time with two once again setting up Kyle Hess to become the hero of the day with a 2RBI triple down the RF line.
Miami trailing by 4 at the end of 4, managed to get two of those runs back on a two-run shot off the bat of Zach Levenson traveling 421′ to left center scoring Yoyo who led off the inning by being hit.
With the score 6-4 that would be the closest Miami could manage to get back into the game. They would get hits in each of the remaining innings, but striking out twice per inning left runners stranded on base, a testament to Miami’s inconsistency of getting hits when needed.
The Panthers put up an insurance run in the 7th with a pair of errors to open the inning setting it up for a SF to left.. The Panthers didn’t need to outhit us, all they needed was just four and the inability of the pitching staff to find the strike zone.
Too many times, if not for the HR, we would never be in the game. All four runs today on two HRs. Total of 10 hits but the same old story; scattered. 1-14 with RISP does not hack the program and if we can’t tie together hits, look for an early exit post-season. We already know that we can’t rely on our pitching staff to carry the day. It is going to have to come with the bat with consistent hitting supplementing our HRs. Three players with multiple hits: Yoyo Morales 2-4;Jacoby Long 3-4(double); and Zach Levenson 3-5 (double,HR, 2RBIs). Additionally CJ Kayfus 1-5(HR,2RBIs). Before departing the offense, mention should be made regarding Jacoby Long. Here is another example of being given the opportunity to play, he makes the very best of it with a pair of singles and a two-bagger, one hit being a bunt single along with a stolen base exhibiting his being the fastest runner on the team. We have too many talented players on the bench awaiting the opportunity to showcase and today it was Jacoby. Unfortunately the same can not be said regarding the BP.
Not knowing which Rosario is going to show to hard to stomach. He has been totally unreliable with very few exceptions. Six walks today, 4 coming in the third, Gino should have been quicker in relieving him. The longer he stays in the more damage he provides. If he had more teams like Presbyterian for him to pitch against he would probably last 6 or 7 innings. Instead, we are lucky to get 4 innings out of him. If we had anyone else who could pitch, his role would be alongside Ronaldo Gallo in the BP who also has been a disappointment this season, rather than the Saturday starter.
Tomorrow, the rubber match. We will once again be Pitching by Committee and hopefully, the pitching along with the hitting will be on the same page to enable a series win. The bottom line, it will all come down to next week with Duke to decide the Coastal Division Champion. First Pitch is tomorrow HIGH NOON.