Canes Baseball: Miami Rides Homers To 4-3 Victory

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Unable to do so in the earlier game, Miami somehow, someway held on by the narrowest of margins to squeak out a series victory holding the Heels scoreless in the final three innings to come away with a 4-3 win. They did it with a depleted BP utilizing 4 of the 5 pitchers from game 2 one of which, Alejandro Torres, pitched in all three games. North Carolina, on the other hand, was switching pitchers like a revolving door from their bottomless well of relievers;8 total. Rafe Schlesinger, the only new face came in at the most critical time with BL one out in the 8th and managed to get Eric Gritz to hit into a 6-4-3 DP. Rafe only threw 3 pitches but they were the most important 3 pitches in the game. Alejandro Torres was brought in to pitch the 9th and like Andrew before he got down to the final strike (1-2) and deja vu was crossing everyone’s mind. Unlike Andrew, Torres throws it over the plate and gets Gritz to foul out to Yoyo to clinch the series victory and move Miami into a tie for second with Carolina in the Coastal.

Whatever was said between games, Miami knew that the outcome of the game to follow would make or break the season. After a series sweep by Wake and Virginia and the crushing defeat in the game just completed this was a must-win. With nobody left in the BP to start it was Pitching by Committee with Rolando Gallo who delivered the game losing HR just moments before was right back on the mound to start the game. It appeared that the Carolina BP was in similar condition as our’s except they had mass numbers to throw at us while our depleted BP tried to hold it together with the limited resources they had.

The first batter Gallo faced did not wait long to single through the middle to open play and you had to wonder how long would Ronaldo last before he totally self-destructing like we have seen so many times. Survived the 1st inning with runners on the corners one out but the second opened with a double who would end up scoring to give the Heels an early 1-0 lead and mark the end of the day for Ronaldo Gallo.

Miami struggled with their bats as they did in the two previous games. Opened with CJ and Edgardo both getting on (walk,single) and then silence as seen in the whole series with RISP. 2-10 for this game. Game 1 similar numbers and the earlier game 2-11. You don’t win ballgames going 6-31. What saves us it seems every time is our ability to hit the long ball. 6 total for the whole series, but 5-6 yarders were without runners on base. Opponents can survive with solo HRs but if we could get runners on base prior, would make a whole lot of difference in supporting a weaken BP. When the Multi HRs aren’t available, the strikeout has been overwhelming. As mentioned in my last report we are last in the Conference which means stranded runners. In the first inning had two runners on and after Yoyo grounds out to 3rd (FC), 5 consecutive strikeouts followed

It wasn’t until the 3rd, we snapped out of the funk with Lorenzo Carrier second HR of the series 407′ off the scoreboard to tie the game at one. It was the spark and kick in the butt the team needed. Back to the top of the order and CJ doubles to left. Yoyo and Blake both walk to load the bases and Dominic single to left scored CJ and Yoyo to give Miami a 3-1 lead.

Miami adds to their lead in the 5th with another Yarder by Zach, his 7th of the year. Unfortunately, this comes right after a 6-3 DP clearing the bases so once again a solo HR. A 3-run lead, and wondering if a similar fate awaits.

It looked just like that in the 6th. Miami put themselves into a great scoring opportunity with runners on 1st and 2nd one out, top of the order. CJ singles to right which turns into a 9-2-6 DP (Renzo out sliding home, CJ out going to second). 

A fired-up Carolina team was feasting off the fans coming off the DP, opened their half of the 6th with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Gino was trying to stretch Chestnutt’s stay by pushing the envelope after relieving 9 straight batters. There just wasn’t anything left in the tank and now he was faced with a BL situation and nowhere to turn who had a fresh arm. Chris Scinta who faced one batter Friday night, struck him out, was asked to do it one more time. Gets a call 3rd strike which was a definite ball 4, for the second out. Short-lived. First pitch single to center scoring two and the play at the plate to tie the score Dominic Pitelli throws a strike to home, 8-6-2 for the Heels coming up one short but moved closer trailing 4-3.

After what could have been the pivotal inning in the series, Carolina had one final chance in the 8th. Scinta still on the mound, but fading fast. Pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases one more time with one out. Rafe Schlesinger, first appearance in the series, gets the call. Total of three pitches gets the PH Eric Glitz to hit into a pitcher’s dream: a 6-4-3 DP holding off a hard-charging, fired-up Tar Heels team. The rest is history

If not for the HR, we would be just another ordinary team. Another multi-HR affair that enabled us to cross the finish line. Today we can thank Zack and Lorenzo for making this possible. Offensively, the ten hits were scattered with the exception of Dominic’s 2RBI single with bases loaded. Two players with multiple numbers: Lorenzo Carrier 2-4(HR,RBI); CJ Kayfus 3-4(double).

We have to do better than HRs We have to mix in hits and be able to move them around the bases. Our RISP percentage definitely need to be worked on as with the number of strikeouts that strickens us every game.

As for our pitching, nothing more can be said that hasn’t already been said. Each game we come in on a wing and a prayer (Military terms for a stricken aircraft). No telling when Karson will return to the rotation and with 5 games next week our BP will be tested to the max. This team can not survive on the HR alone which is exactly what we are doing. If we can add more consistent hitting then this team has a fighting chance. If we continue to struggle both with the bat and with the BP, then we will have heart-stoppers like we had this weekend.  Two-midweek games first being at home against Bethune Cookman Tues night. First pitch 6PM.


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