Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman were on the receiving end of CAT 5 Hurricane as the Canes unloaded 4 bombs to the stratosphere turning the Wildcats into pussycats and being struck with nine runs by the end of the third inning. While the Canes outslugged them with HRs accounting for 5 of the 12 total runs scored, the Wildcats took it to our depleted BP outhitting the Canes 16-14. Besides the HRs the major difference was BC inability to move runners around with RISP. They were 2-16 compared to the Canes 5-10. Starter Ben Chestnutt pitched his longest outing going 5.2 innings only giving up a solitary run but it was the BP that went absolutely flat and fortunately, the Canes had sustained a sufficient enough lead of 10 runs that they were able to hold off a relentless Wildcat team who put runs on the board every inning with Chestnutt’s departure. Blame can not be placed totally on inept pitching. The defense was really bad at times misplaying balls or poorly executing DP attempts. Gino needs to weigh what is more important: an offense that can belt out HRs and provide hits or a defense (2B,RF) that really can’t play the position. Each made costly mental errors but their bats sizzled. The BP which continues to struggle might have taken another hit with the possible loss of one of our better relievers Carlos Lequerica who took himself out after throwing 11 pitches. A loss that we can not afford. With 5 games this week and Karson Ligon an unknown factor on when he will return, we better hope that whoever starts can go deep and the offense build enough runs because what remains of the BP is nothing to write home about.
Miami got off to a quick start putting up 5 runs in the 2nd and 4 more in the 3rd. One more in the 5th for a 10-run cushion before the Wildcats managed to get one across the board. After dropping a 6 run lead at Chapel Hill this weekend, no lead is ever safe when you don’t have the pitching to shut the door.
It was a quiet first inning going 3 up/3down. The warning sirens sounded in the second as the offense laid out a CAT 5 destruction notice with the bottom of the batting order exploding on the scene. Ian Farrow batting 7th, tripled to center scoring Zack who opened the inning with a single, and Blake reached first on an E5. Carlos Perez followed Ian’s triple with his 10th of the year to left 344′ and Lorenzo followed going air-carrier a whopping 441′ also to left.
A 5-run second but they were only just getting started. Yoyo opened the inning after what seemed like a long drought with a solo shot, his 7th, to left-center just clearing the fence at 380′. After Zack struck out, A bit of small ball came into play with Blake singling, Dominic laying down a perfectly executed bunt single followed by Ian with a single of his own to load the bases. Up steps Lorenzo to the plate, having a homer in the previous inning, and clears the bases with a double to left-center. 9-0 end of three.
A bit of a cushion in the 5th with Blake matching Carlos also with his 10th homer of the season traveling to left-center 418′ to stretch the lead to 10-0. At this point, I thought we might start seeing some substitution from the bench, but for good reason, Gino just did not feel comfortable in the BP holding off a late charge. A late charge the Wildcats did in fact in putting up 6 runs when Chestnutt’s day was done and the call to the BP was made. Scoring in each of the final 4 innings, Miami managed to get 2 of the runs back with a SF in the 7th by Ian and an RBI double in the 8th by Yoyo.
I mentioned in the opening that Gino has to weigh offense vs defense. Since joining the starting 9, Blake Cyr and Lorenzo Carrier have been awesome with the bat. Tonight they each went 2-4 accounting for 5 of the 12 runs scored. What they do with their bat I can’t say the same with their fielding. Blake doesn’t have the strongest arm and his execution of the DP needs work. He made some good defensive stops tonight but once getting the ball is another story. The same with Lorenzo playing in right. Just does not play the position well misjudging and making poor decisions in fielding. If they both can clean up their acts defensive-wise there would be one less worry to be concerned about. However, the real concern is how to get around with a pitching staff that is marginal at best. The offense is going to have to work overtime to keep up. With the possible loss of another pitcher, Carlos Lequerica, the BP gets even thinner. Bethune-Cookman putting up 16 hits does not reflect well. They are not the same caliber as an ACC team or the likes of FAU and look what they did against our pitchers. Tomorrow we face the Owls of FAU. Interesting to see if it will be Gallo or Torres or even possibly Chris Scinta to get the starting call. Whoever it is, they won’t be on the bump for long. We are going to need each and every arm for the weekend showdown against the Ramblin Wreck.
It was an offensive barrage with everyone in the starting nine with the exception of CJ Kayfus with at least one hit. He was the only one who did not even reach first base. Five with multiple hits: Yoyo Morales 3-5(HR, double,2RBIs); Blake Cyr 2-4(HR,RBI); Ian Farrow 2-5(triple, 3RBIs) and the player of the game Lorenzo Carrier 2-4 (HR,double,4RBI). Additionally, Carlos Perez 1-4(HR,2RBIs) If Blake and Lorenzo could only field this would be one solid team.
The pitching is a whole different story only getting worse with each game. At the rate of loss of pitchers, the remaining are going to find their arms heading south. Need to get Karson back into the rotation and hopefully, Carlos left on a precautionary move on his part. A name we have not heard since the start of the season has been Alex Walsh. No one is talking about if there is an issue with him or what. With Brian Walters being lost for the season, Alex was strong consideration to be the set-up, but that never materialized and he vanished from the rotation about the same time. We can only hope that we continue what we do best and that is smacking HR after HR. It is the only way that is going to keep us viable.
Round two this week is up at Boca starting with first pitch at 630PM.