Canes Baseball: Miami Drops Rubber Match To Florida, 14-4

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Florida being embarrassed after Saturday night’s loss with 13 unanswered runs returned with a vengeance and handed the Canes some Gator Justice. Taking full advantage of a weakened Miami pitching staff and a late starting offense gridlocked from two-way starter Jac Caglianone, Florida opened with a strong statement not only striking out the side with the first three batters (Gomez, Villegas, Morales) but taking a 4-0 lead off with all runs scoring (4 straight singles) off of starter Alejandro Rosario. By the second inning, the series was basically decided with Rosario taking the long walk back to the dugout after loading the bases on a one-out double followed by two consecutive walks. Relief pitcher Carlos Lequerica ran the count to 3-1. One swing of the bat GRAND SLAM to right-center and just like that the Gator Chop came slamming down on our Achilles Heel. Florida added another run in the 3rd and it would take Miami until the 4th inning to break through 9 unanswered runs with a SF from Zach Levenson to get on the scoreboard. Not until the 8th inning did the Canes show any resilience with their hitting. Three runs on the board and threatening for more only to end abruptly on a ladder-climbing catch by their SS to double off Zach at second to end the rally. Ronaldo Gallo, the 4th relief pitcher since Rosario’s early departure in the second marked the beginning of the final nail into the Cane’s Coffin. Three batters, 7 pitches and 2 runs later, Gallo is gone and Chris Scinta to replace him. Three batters later one run, a man standing on third and Scinta is gone. Gone, which might be permanent for not only him but Edgardo after colliding with Zach in right-center resulting in a triple. Edgardo left the game, hopefully, nothing serious, but Scinta was also escorted off the field holding his shoulder. A loss the team can not afford already faced with a non-existent BP. Sebastian Perez, the last of 6 pitchers to make that long walk from the BP to the mound had a very short day only throwing just 2 pitches to deliver the game-ending 2 run-shot to left generating the MERCY RULE.

Minor changes to the lineup. Dario Gomez batting first replacing Renzo Gonzalez in center. Edgardo moves from center to left. Dorian is replaced by Blake Cyr playing 2nd, and batting 6th. Ian Farrow is back in the lineup as DH in the 7th position. Alejandro Rosario starting on the mound

Rosario, being the big question mark as to which Rosario would show up to play, once again showed it was not the Rosario we wanted to see. Nine batters in the first inning opened the floodgates with four runs on four hits (4 straight singles all coming after two out). By the second inning and bases loaded (double,walk,walk) once again Rosario leaves the game with a mess for the relief pitcher to handle. Not much to choose from, Carlos Lequerica after pitching Friday night and giving up 2 HRs, adds a third today this being a grand slam. The storyline had been written (Miami’s Achilles Heel crushed) and it was not pretty. 8-0 at the end of two. To sweeten the pot the Gators add another run in the third.

Miami hitting took another one of their days off with nothing to show for three innings. Five strikeouts through three innings and only 10 players to come to the plate to bat made last night’s ending performance a joke. How do you go from being sizzling hot to burnout? Just one walk to show for their effort. Either Caglianone was tiring from throwing all those strikeouts or killing us with his bat, he showed signs of weakening in the 4th with a pair of lead-off singles to Edgardo and Yoyo. Zach with runners on the corners gets Miami on the board with a SF to center.

Both teams stayed quiet through the 7th. Miami trailing 9-1 showed life returning with an actual shot of making this into a ballgame. Dominic opened striking out and then came the breakout. Renzo Gonzalez,PH for Dario, singles, Edgardo doubles, scoring Renzo from first. Yoyo singles scoring Edgardo. CJ walks and Zack doubles down the RF line scoring Yoyo. Three runs in, one out, runners on 2nd and 3rd. Blake, gets absolutely robbed on a leaping catch by the SS fully extending his body and doubling off Zach who could not return safely to second. Miami was looking at a 5 run rally if not more except for the catch of the day.

Miami putting the scare into the Gator fans breathed easier in their half of the 8th. Florida answered quickly to Ronaldo Gallo entering to pitch the 8th and sent him just as quickly back to the dugout after just 7 pitches (2 run HR). Chris Scinta who pitched brilliantly yesterday was once again brought in to clean up Ronaldo’s damage. Striking out the first batter, disaster strikes for the second time this inning.  A solo HR followed by a triple resulting from a collision between Zach and Edgardo. We not only lost two players as a result( Edgardo and Chris) but possibly Chris for the season.

Much concern for both players but after losing Brian Walters earlier and possibly now Chris, other than a select few who will burn out before the season end any hope for post-season play is slowly fading from consideration.

After all had settled down with the departure of Edgardo and Chris, Miami turns to Sebastian Perez, the 6th pitcher from the BP today. Ty Evans looking at his second pitch swings and connects sending it not over the LF fence but sending Miami off the field having the 10 run rule, new this season, kicked in. Both teams had to agree to this ruling prior to the game. In the past, the Mercy Rule was for Post Season play only. Along with the pitch clock this season it is a move to speed up the game.

Offensively, like last night, we waited until the end of the game to decide to come to play. For the first 7 innings, only had  4 hits (all singles). The HR streak came to an end without a single ball leaving the yard. The best we could do were a pair of doubles in the 8th (Edgardo,Zach). Two players with multiple hits: Edgardo Villegas 2-4(double,RBI); Yoyo Morales 3-4(RBI). Not at all a productive day especially how we ended the game Saturday.

Pitching was a disaster from top to bottom. Gino has to finally realize that Rosario is not a starting pitcher. As I have said over the past two seasons you can never be assured about which Rosario will be pitching. Today, was just another example. As to who to replace him with is a good question. We only have one real starter: Karson Ligon. It might get to the point of removing Andrew as closer and putting him into the rotation. Of all the candidates Alejandro Torres, now that Chris Scinta might be out of the picture for possibly the season, would be my choice. Alex Walsh and Rafe Schlesinger really are all we have left for real relief. For some reason, Gino is still sold on Ben Chestnutt who has not impressed me during preseason or when given the call this season. As to Friday night starter, this really is not a choice moving Karson into this role. Again with Andrew possibly becoming a factor into this discussion, it is anyone’s guess as to who will be getting the calls come next week with the opening of the ACC play. As I have been calling since preseason our pitching is our Achilles Heel. It is definitely showing that I have not been wrong.

Gino and JD have their work cut out for them to come up with some semblance of a pitching rotation.  Next game: Jacksonville Wednesday 4PM start time.


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