Canes Baseball: Miami Squeezes Out Victory, 5-4

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Miami still looking for its first ACC win on the road came into Chapel Hill with a 2-9 record away from the Light. In dramatic fashion, it wasn’t the long ball that earned them their first victory, but a totally unexpected squeeze bunt in the 9th inning that caught the Heels totally flat-footed breaking the 4-4 tie. Miami got the early lead in the 3rd on a towering shot to left by Lorenzo Carrier only to see go by the wayside with the Tarheels answering with 4 of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Gage continued to struggle but made it through the 5th having thrown 102 pitches. After NC took the lead, Miami fought back getting one back in the 4th on an RBI double by Ian Farrow and tying it in the 6th with Blake Cyr taking it over the fence in right. It was time for the BP to take the reins and bring it home. Alejandro Torres and Andrew Walters did just that retiring 12 batters in order. In poetic justice, Dario Gomez who shocked everyone with his suicide squeeze records the final out breaking the draught and giving Miami their first ACC win on the road.

The saying “if it is not broken, don’t fix it” has nothing to do with Miami trying to find the right combination to put some runs on the board. That being said, some shuffling to tonight’s lineup. Dario Gomez Jumped all the way to batting second and inserting Ian Farrow, DH, batting 7th, and for the first time, Lorenzo Carrier started in right batting 9th. For the second week, we saw the absence of Karson Ligon reported being out with tendonitis, and having our Saturday starter Gage Ziehl on the mound.

First two innings both teams had baserunners in scoring position but failed to capitalize. Neither team had a really good night in this category with Miami being 2-10 and Carolina one better at 3-10. Miami Opened the third with their signature trademark this season, the long ball, as Lorenzo Carrier laid into one that was a no-doubter as soon as the ball left the bat. Unfortunately, no distance to report on. Miami was just getting started in the third with Dario and Yoyo going back-to-back singles after CJ flew out to left. Runners on first and second 2 outs, Blake doubles to right center scoring Dario from second and a perfect throw 9-4-2 catches Yoyo sliding in at home (review,upheld). 

Miami’s early 2-0 lead didn’t last for long. The Heels come back strong pounding Gage with 4 hits resulting in 4 runs. Gage had been struggling throughout getting behind the hitters, and the third really took its toll requiring 34 pitches to finally record the final out. Heels opened with a single and on APO at first advance the runner to 2nd(E1). If not for the E1, the rest of the inning could have worked out differently and prevented the number of runs scored. A grounder to Dominic might have gone 6-4 if not for the previous error but instead had runners on 1st and second rather than just first. Double followed scoring one and two batters later a 3 run shot leaving the yard to right. A 4 run inning which could have been 3 instead if not for that APO.

Miami, being accustomed to being momentarily ahead, only to see the world crash around them reverted to catchup mode. They start doing exactly that in the 4th with Dominic leading off with a walk and making it all the way home on an Ian Farrow double. Trailing by one Cyr ties it in the 6th on what we do best; HR. Scored tied at 6 which is where it stayed until the 9th. 

Miami could have struck in the 8th to break the deadlock but failed on two occasions with RISP to get that key hit. In the 9th, the Cardiac Kids finally stroked out in Mark Light fashion. Opening walk to Edgardo, PH for Carlos, followed by Reno Gonzalez, PH for Carrier, goes opposite field with a fluke single to left. Top of the order CJ grounds out to first advancing both runners. Up steps Dario Gomez who executes the play of the game totally catching the entire stadium by surprise. Count 1-1 and the shocker of the night. A squeeze laid down towards third had Jacoby Long sliding home before the ball is even picked up by the pitcher who had no play anywhere. the gridlock is broken and Miami is on top 5-4.

Andrew Walters who had come in the 8th was as flawless as the previous inning taking the Heels down in order to give Miami game one but more importantly, getting rid of that albatross around our necks to finally win a game on the road.

Offensively, it wasn’t the long ball, even though it helped, that took us over the hump in achieving the win tonight. Four players contributed to having a multi-hit night. Yoyo Morales 3-5(double);Blake Cyr 2-4(double,HR,2RBI); Ian Farrow 2-4(double,RBI); and my Player of the Day Dario Gomez 3-5(RBI). Lorenzo Carrier had Miami’s other HR.

Pitching has to go with the BP of Alejandro Torres and Andrew Walters who were spectacular not allowing a single runner to reach 1st base for 4 innings of relief. Gage struggled throwing 102 pitches of 5 innings of work and except for the 3rd inning, he kept them otherwise off the scoreboard.

Tomorrow, weather permitting we go for a series win. As to who will pitch is the mystery. Post-game on WVUM mentioned Karson which seems to me doubtful since the TV announcers had Karson recorded out with tendonitis with an unknown return date. Guess we will just have to wait and see. Enjoy the night and worry about it tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7PM.


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