Canes Baseball: Miami Takes Game 1 Against Virginia Tech, 4-3

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

The Miami Hurricanes with the help of St Patrick performed a bit of Mark Light Magic taking game one in the best of three from the Hokies of VA Tech. Yohandy Morales was the Magician of the night with a two-out double to right bringing out for the second time this year the water bucket wet down. Tonight it was for Yoyo as the winning run crossed the plate and a jubilant dugout emptied onto the field to provide the soaking down. Miami struggled all night with runners in scoring position and time after time left stranded unable to get that needed hit or even a SF to bring in that much-needed run. In the first inning, already with one run on the board and threatening for more was unable to capitalize with runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out. Same story in the third one out runners on the corners. In the 7th with the chance to break open the tie game with BL one out, the hitting just was not there. What was there, were strikeouts, 12 total tonight, and missed opportunities to put the damper throughout the game. When it appeared that extra innings were in the offering, Yoyo performed that Magical Irish Jig to Right breaking the deadlock at three and Victory.

Some minor changes to the lineup seeing the return of Blake Cyr playing second and batting 5th. Blake sustained a possible concussion last Saturday in the 3rd inning when he was hit on the helmet. From his performance at the plate tonight the cobwebs still had not unraveled striking out all 4 trips to the plate each time with the one exception that had runners in scoring position. Another new face was Jack Scanlon replacing Carlos Perez behind the plate for his performance on Wednesday. He also did not have the best of days going 0-2. The rest of the lineup remained unchanged. Karson Ligon is on the mound.

For Miami, it was an evening where nothing seem to go right. Not until the final inning with two outs and the count two-two did all those bad moments washed away with one swing of the bat. It started in the first with CJ leading off with a double down the RF line and two batters later Yoyo with his first of three hits night records the first score with an RBI single up the middle. Everything was clicking and it looked like the 17th-rank Hokies were in for a beating; Canes Style. The first sign that this was definitely not going to happen and disappointment was going to follow us throughout was when our bats became silent at the wrong time. Runners on 2nd and 3rd one out, Cyr strikes out as does Renzo Gonzalez. 

In the second inning, again things looked promising after Dominic Pitelli’s bunt opposite field took advantage of the shift. Ends, with Scanlon hitting into a 4-6-3 DP. Third-inning, runners on the corners, one out Zack Levenson and Blake Cyr strike out. 4th inning man on second, this time with 2 outs Jack Scanlon with the missed opportunity grounding out to first. 

While Miami was plummeting inning after inning, Tech was having issues of their own. The first left a man stranded on third, and in the second BL with one out failed to score. However, in the 4th, all their frustrations disappeared with a leadoff HR, double, and a second HR for the inning. 2784 stunned fans watched in shock as the visiting Hokies took a 3-1 lead

Miami managed to get one run back in the 5th with an RBI single by Edgardo who got caught in no man’s land between 1st and second and tagged out 9-2-4

Miami got lucky in the 6th with a reverse call called safe and the review showed otherwise. Man on second from a leadoff double, SAC back to the pitcher. Karson nonchalantly tosses the ball to Yoyo high and the ruling was the runner slid under the tag. It was a bad throw made with no authority. If not for the overturned ruling, the Hokies would have had runners on the corners with no outs. We got the Irish luck of the call and escaped disaster.

Chris Scinta finished out the 6th replacing Karson having thrown 82 pitches. Not one of his better outings giving up 3 runs all in the 4th inning. The 6th would be the last hurrah for the Hokies as the Miami BP of Chris Scinta and Carlos Lequerica were flawless not giving up a hit and only allowing for one walk.

Miami still trailing by one into the 7th, tied it up in what should have been the breakaway for the Canes but was only able to salvage one run from having BL and one out.  The inning opened with Dominic being hit, advancing to second on a WP. Gaby Gutierrez, PH for jack Scanlon, singles. Gino being overly cautious holds Pitelli at 3rd having CJ coming to bat with no outs already having a 2-2 day. FYI: Pitelli would have scored from 3rd if given the green light. Gino played the odds and luckily he did not roll craps. CJ comes through with his 3rd hit of the night to tie the score at 3. Another WP sends runners to 2nd and 3rd bringing Yoyo to the plate. He is intentionally walked to load the bases. As been the whole game, the Cane’s luck continued to sour with Zack fouling out to first and Blake Cyr in another crucial position striking out for the 4th time. Prior to the concussion on Saturday, you could wager a bet that Cyr would generate runs and win. Tonight on his return, not so.

Today being St Patrick’s Day and us wearing all Green, all that Irish luck finally came to fruition with Yoyo and two outs stepping up to the plate. The hit which has been absent all game finally had that shamrock magic finding green grass in right-center for the walk-off victory.

Offensively, very sporadic hitting, never being able to provide a hit when most needed. When the long ball isn’t part of our arsenal it becomes a crap shoot which we never do well at. Too many missed opportunities. We have to do better. As Gino stated after the game regarding Yoyo’s walk-off double: ” “We haven’t gotten that big two-out hit before that. We had a lot of opportunities in the game, but just couldn’t get it done”. 

With Yoyo stealing that pot of gold from that Hokie leprechaun he was joined by two others with a multiple-hit game: CJ Kayfus 3-4(double,RBI);  Dominic Pitelli 2-3(double); and of course the player of the game Yoyo Morales 3-4(double, 2RBIs)

Pitching, applause to the BP tonight featuring Chris Scinta striking out four without a walk and Carlos Lequerica with a pair of strikeouts. Neither gave up a hit.

Tomorrow, for both the series and if our luck up holds up a SWEEP. That’s because due to the inclement weather forecast for Sunday, we have a DH with a start time of 2PM. Game 3 will start one hour after the finish of the first game.


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