Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
In dramatic fashion, the Cardiac Kids complete the SWEEP of the 17th-ranked Hokies coming from behind in the evening affair with explosive offensive power the likes of which have not been seen in a long, long time. It was March Madness at the Light as the Miami offense went Airmail Special on 10 different occasions over the course of the day. In game one which was a total blowout, 7 home runs accounted for 11 runs of the 21 we put up on the board. They supplemented the explosiveness with a total of 21 hits to easily cruised to a 21-6 victory to take the series. It was the 10-run 7th that saw 3 leave the park two of which were back-to-back accounting for 5 of the 10 runs for the inning. In the nightcap, the Cardiac Kids facing a 6-run deficit crawled back gradually biting into the lead with a determination to never give up, scoring 4 runs in the 5th to get within one run then came the 8th inning where the Hokies emptied their BP bringing in 4 pitchers in the attempt to stop the runaway train of the Miami bats. The Canes sent 10 batters to the plate coming away with the lead and putting up 6 runs to secure the sweep. Andrew Walters, not seen since March 4th returned to the mound to capture the save and put the exclamation point on the Miami SWEEP
Game one lineup changes having Dominic Pitelli batting 6th and Dario Gomez returning to the lineup batting 7th. Dorian Gonzalez returned to 2B batting 8th with Blake Cyr as the DH. Gage Zielh with the rock.
The Hokies with their only lead in the game struck first in the second inning on what should have been the 3rd out, but lack of communication between Zack and Edgardo on who was to catch the ball drop between them instead for the first run of the game.
After that, it was all Miami. 4 runs in the third coming with 4 straight hits with 2 outs that was capped with a two-run shot by Dominic Pitelli off the top of the scoreboard. That would be the first of 7 HRs that was to follow. Picked up a run in the 5th on an RBI single by CJ bringing in Dorian who opened the inning with a double.
After that, it was HRs, HRs, HRs every inning through the 8th. Dorian in the 5th to left with one on. The 6th, It was Zach with the longest shot of the season going 472′ landing on the infield of the track field. The 7th was the backbreaker, with fourteen batters coming to the plate which saw 10 runs on 7 hits; three of which went the distance. Dario Gomez was the first to go yard with 2 onboard followed by two batters later with back-to-back round-trippers by Carlos Perez and CJ Kayfus. The last is by PH Gaby Gutierrez coming in the 8th
With 21 hits total for the game, Miami definitely put on an exhibition of pure firepower. Their overall hitting was .511(23-45). The only negative was leaving 14 on the pads. Everyone in the starting eight recorded at least one hit but the one standout was CJ Kayfus 4-5(HR,2RBIs). Multiple hits were recorded by Zach Levenson, Blake Cyr, Dominic Pitelli, Dario Gomez, and Dorian Gonzalez.
Gage Ziehl picked up the W going 5 innings and striking out 8. Chris Scinta and Carlos Lequerica saw action for one inning after having pitched on Friday. They weren’t as sharp each giving up runs. If Gino continues to go with them initially time and time again by season end their arms will be shot. Having a 15-run lead, Ronaldo Gallo was brought in and you figure what damage could he cause with that lead. Back-to-back HRs to lead off the 8th is a testament that he should only be used as the very last resort which Gino continually fails to acknowledge. Sebastian Perez finished it out with a pair of strikeouts.
One hour between games saw a different response in the explosiveness coming off our bats. Gino tweaked the lineup slightly with Gaby Gutierrez starting in left batting 7th and Jack Scanlon with the catching duties batting 9th. Alejandro Rosario gets the call and like Gallo, Gino needs to take serious thought into how he utilizes both. Gallo just can’t pitch and Rosario is definitely not a weekend starter.
Miami started playing catchup in the second after a 5-run start for the Hokies. A leadoff home run got it started and after loading the bases a grand slam clears them. All during this, no one is warming up. It would take another HR in the 4th and one in the 5th before Gino finally decides to bench him: hopefully for the final time as a starter.
Trailing 6-0 by the 4th, Miami was yet to get their first hit, CJ Kayfus changed that with a lead-off HR, his second of the day. Edgardo followed the yarder with a triple and Zach’s SF to center brought the Canes within 4. The Hokies come right back in the 5th with the 4th HR relinquished from starter Rosario.
7-2, Miami strikes back in the bottom of the 5th with 4 on back-to-back round-trippers by CJ Kayfus, his third of the day, and Edgardo. This all came with two outs. Dorian and Jack both were hit setting it up for CJ for a three-run shot by CJ.
From 6-0 in the 4th, the Canes fought back and narrowed the margin to one. The Hokies held on for deal life counter with 2 in the 8th with the 17th combined homer of the day extending the score to 9-6. Time running out for the chance of a sweep, Edgardo opens the 8th with a walk. The next six batters reach safely without an out. Four runs on the board. Back-to-back SF flies by Scanlon and Kayfus giving Miami the lead for the first time in the game. Tech would send in 4 pitchers to attempt to stop the deluge of hits/runs which proved unsuccessful
Holding onto a 3-run lead, the final call to the BP brought forth Andrew Walters who I was told had tendonitis and would be out possibly a month. Obviously, my source was wrong seeing him throw at 98 striking out two. Fly out to right locks in the victory but most important of all the SWEEP.
Nine hits total, 6 going into the 8th but of the 9, 6 were for extra bases. Unlike the day game only two with multiple hits: CJ Kayfus 3-4(2HRs,5RBIs); Edgardo Villegas 2-3(triple,HR,RBI). Both Zack Levenson and Gaby Gutierrez picked up a double.
you already heard my thoughts about our starter which Gino really needs to stop rationalizing about. Rafe Schlesinger saw limited action having relieved Rosario and pitched one inning not giving up a hit. Alejandro Torres followed giving up the 2-run homer in the 8th.
It was a day of unbelievable hitting and if you like HRs this was a day to remember with 17 of them. CJ Kayfus had a series that should earn him ACC Player of the Week going 11-13 along with 3 HRs. That is a .846 average. If he doesn’t win ACC Play of the Week, something is wrong with the voting.
This sweep should bring us back in the rankings and right now we sit on top of the Coastal. Wake is the Next ACC opponent. Before traveling to Wake we have a return visit from FAU on Wed with a 6PM start.