Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Holding on by the narrowest of margins, Andrew Walters gets an early call to preserve a one-run margin and prevails in vintage form striking out 4 in doing so. Without the HR, Miami struggled through the first 4 innings trying to get a baserunner on. In the first inning, Miami was unable to take advantage of bases loaded with just one out and only managed one run via a walk. The DP to end the inning was a preview of disappointment yet to come in the next several innings. Strikeouts were the order of the day once again, striking out 11 times, 9 times through five. Miami finally came out of dreamland in the 5th with a trio of runs behind what should have been a bases-loaded-clearing double by Blake but had to settle for two runs being called for a ground-rule double. Lucky break for Pitt. Not getting that third run almost proved detrimental in the final outcome. Miami pitching proving its continued ineffectiveness exchanged leads for the second time with Pitt coming back with two in the 6th to tie the game. The 7th, Dorian Gonzalez, PH for Ian Farrow who was 0-3 today, came through with BL, the third time today, and hits pay dirt with a SF to center which would be the difference maker in the Canes pulling it out. That and Andrew coming in early in the 7th with a runner on to take it the rest of the way.
Ronaldo Gallo gets the starting call which already spelled trouble from the opening inning. Rosario gave us two good innings yesterday, Ronaldo could not even give us one and should have been yanked in the 1st, but who do you go with that early and try to salvage a series win? In the 1st, Miami had opened in a blaze of hitting and striving for an early departure of their starter. Three consecutive singles (Edgardo,Yoyo,Zach) following CJ flying out to center to open the game. BL, Cyr walks in a run and all indicators pointed to a blowout in the making. A 6-3 DP quickly extinguished that fire and would stay extinguished for the next 3 innings.
Pitt rejoicing only giving up one run, showed their appreciation in obliterating the likes of Ronaldo Gallo’s pitching. Eight batters would come to the plate scoring twice on three hits and a pair of walks. Ronaldo somehow survived with BL managing with a strikeout to end another Gallo disaster. The one lead that the offense provided him in the first became a one-run deficit.
By the second inning, his pitch count was at 55 and after walking the leadoff batter, his 4th, in the 3rd he joined Rosario, in another case of the starting pitcher not being able to do their job. Carlos Lequerica was given the call to bail out another mess. Carlos lasted 3.1 innings when he ran into trouble with Kyle Hess, who has been a thorn in our side all series with a triple followed by an RBI single to tie the score at four in the 6th. Alejandro Torres had to be called in. To be continued shortly.
After Miami put up an initial run in the first it was a long dry spell without a hit, only a walk, and striking out 6 times through four. The 5th was the awakening with them batting around the order starting with Jacoby Long’s single to left. Yoyo’s RBI single was the first run of the inning. Zach followed with a walk to load the bases. Blake did not repeat the DP that ended the 1st with BL, but had to settled for a ground-rule double giving us two runs instead of the three which would have given us a two-run lead. Fortunately, it did come back and bite us. The strikeout would come back and haunt us once again with Pitelli striking out and Farrow doing likewise after Carrier was hit by pitch to reload the bases.
Returning to where we were in the 6th, Pitt having tied the score at 4 and Torres being called in to replace Lequerica. Man on first, a double to left, the runner at first overran third and got caught in a rundown 7-6-2 for their second out. That would prove a difference maker. Rather than runners on second and third one out, you just had a runner on third (man on second advanced to third during the rundown). An RBI single followed to tie the score at four. Gino was out of options. No one left reliable to send out which left no choice but to bring in Andrew to finish the 7th
With the score tied at the end of 6, there appears a momentary surge of energy with the presence of Andrew in the game. Back-to-back singles (Cyr,Pitelli) following Zack striking out and Carrier getting hit loaded the bases for the 4th time today. Dorian Gonzalez, cold off the bench, was given the opportunity to be the hero and he did just that. Solid contact to left was enough for the go-ahead run. That would be all they needed because Andrew did what our other pitchers had problems with all day. Nine batters faced, striking out 4, only allowing a two-out single in the 9th to record his 9th save of the season.
Offensively, 11 hits on the board, only one for extra bases. Timely hits are not in our repertoire. Strikeouts are with another double-digit day. One less than yesterday at 11. Two with multiple hits: Blake Cyr 2-3(double,3RBIs); Yoyo Morales 3-4(RBI). The most important RBI, not on a hit but a SF by Dorian Gonzalez.
Pitching, more than enough said. Can not do it with only Gage and Andrew. The BP is definitely going to have to find a way and step up. As for Gallo and Rosario, if it was all possible they should be buried and not heard from again which unfortunately is not possible. They are a cancer and have been all season. They start and can never finish leaving the damage for the offense to clean up leaving the BP overworked. We can only hope we get Karson to help relieve a worn-out BP.
A crucial series with Duke this coming week to determine the Coastal Division Champion. Presently we hold a half-game lead after they lost to GT today. We can’t think too far ahead because Tues we play the final game in the 305 series at FIU. First pitch 630PM