Canes Baseball: Miami Unable To Finish Sweep Of NC State, Lose 14-4

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami looking for the sweep instead got swept mercilessly being bombarded with 14 runs on 16 hits; 9 ( 6 doubles,3 HRs) of which were for extra bases.

Post-game interview with Coach DiMare stated: “For whatever reason, we just didn’t get it done today.”  “It was a very poor effort from all the guys”.  The Wolfpack flipped the switch on the hapless Canes scoring in 7 of the 9 innings and holding the Canes with just 3 hits through the first 6 innings. Fortunately, the Mercy Rule had not been agreed upon prior to the game, giving the bench the opportunity to strut their talents. From the reserves, 6 hits on 3 runs over the course of the final three innings. Way too little and far too late. Yes, we took the series in grand style in the first two games,,but we definitely feel flat today.

It all started with Alejandro Rosario on the rubber. For the first two batters, it was vintage Rosario striking both out with speed ( 98 on the gun). Then it became the Rosario that we have seen struggle all season long. Soon as he gets someone on base he starts mentally beating himself and his pitch count skyrockets. A two-out single in the first followed by the first of three HRs for the day left the yard in center. You knew from following Rosario all year, that this was the beginning of his end. At the end of inning one, he had thrown 23 pitches and it went downhill from there.  By the 2nd inning, the count was now at 58 with three more runs added to the 2 previously giving the Pack a 5-0 lead and they were just beginning. 

Two changes to today’s lineup.  Ariel Garcia replaced Blake Cyr at second, batting 7th.  Blake might be on concussion protocol after being hit on the side of his helmet on Saturday or Gino just decided to give him a day off on the side of caution. Ariel’s fielding ability is on the same level as Blake’s (bad) but he has a better throwing arm. Hitting wise no comparison. We definitely took a major hit there which we could have used today.  With Blake out of the lineup, Gino felt he couldn’t afford to lose our leadoff batter CJ Kayfus. CJ should have been benched for his action in last night’s game for running through the stop sign at third and being picked off at third. The running through the stop was grievous and should have been dealt with accordingly. Dario Gomez is back in the lineup replacing Renzo Gonzalez. batting 6th. Dario playing center with Edgardo moving over to cover left field.

The inefficiency of Rosario filtered through the rest of the team. Only one hit, a single by Edgardo in the first,  through the first 3 innings.  A pair of singles in the 4th, Zach & Dario, but no runs to show for it. By the 4th  inning, State had added 2 more runs to the 5 already and saw the exiting of Rosario after giving up a leadoff HR and a walk to start the 4th. Five pitchers were to follow and 7 more runs were posted. Only Gunther Braendel managed to come away without a score being rendered. Ben Chestnutt relieved Alejandro and lasted two innings and two runs. The rest pitched an inning and got tapped for a run except for Rafe Schlesinger who had not been seen since the start of the season giving up 3 in the 9th. Three consecutive errors, only one officially, accounted for two of the three runs. It was not the way to end a perfectly bad day all around both on the field, hitting, and of course, pitching.

The Wolfpack continued to hit and score through the 7th having settled on 11 unanswered runs before the Canes came up with an answer. By the 7th, the starting 8 had been pretty much been relieved of duties and we actually saw players that have had little or no chance to play this season. Jason Torres, PH for Yoyo, doubled to center, stirring the starve-struck fans with a bit of excitement to cheer about. Two batters later, Jack Scanlon, PH for Ian Farrow, still looking for his first hit, hits a hard shot to first which is mishandled by the first baseman enabling Jason to score from second. The first baseman got tapped with 2 errors: the first for botch fielding and the second for throwing the ball away when he threw the ball to 1st scoring Torres. From the roar of the fans, it sounded like we won the College World Series. Finally, a run on the board but even the Mark Light Magic would be able to move the needle to overcome an 11-1 deficit. 

Having lost their shutout, only stirred the Pack in responding with 3 additional runs as payback. Rafe Schlesinger drew the short end of the straw to receive their wrath. Already with one run on the board as a result of a one-out double, WP, and a walk, a 4-3 ground out put up the first run, and then the “errors” started coming. A fielding error by Ariel Garcia playing short started the chain of events. Runners on the corners, ground ball to third. Rather than playing the ball, Jason let the ball play him resulting in the second run scoring. Recorded as a hit, but definitely an error by most fans. Runners on first and second. Single to right. A perfect throw from right to home had the runner nailed at home only to have JD Jones have the ball pop out of his glove. Two runs that could have been avoided but at 14-1 it matters little in the total spectrum of things. 

One last chance to do the impossible. Not that they did not give their best but the bridge to cross was just too much. Jones opened with a walk, followed by Dorian singling to right advancing Jones to second. Renzo Gonzalez follows with a single of his own to center, scoring Jones.   Gaby Gutierrez having PH for Edgardo in the 8th collides with the first baseman who drops the ball (E3) scoring Dorian. Runners on the corners Lorenzo Carrier, PH for Zach, SF to center for the 3rd run of the inning but now at 2 outs and the Magic is flickering dimly. Jack Scanlon still looking for hit #1, finally finds it with a strong shot down the RF line. Trying to stretch it for two makes him easy prey at the bag. Miami lost but they went down fighting and it came from the bench. Final score 14-4.

Very little offense to say the least. Three hits through 6 innings. No one with multiple numbers and one extra-base hit; Jason Torres with a double in the 8th. Once again, inconsistency with our hitting. 

As for the pitching, Gino and JD have to really consider whether to continue utilizing Alejandro as the Sunday starter. The other question is who to replace him with. Other than our current starters, Karson and Gage, there is no one else.  Andrew, no telling how long he might be out is the one other person capable of this role. Alejandro Torres might be a consideration but there is no one really strong enough to take the handle

4th rank VT in town next week and if we play as we did on Friday and today, we are in for a long weekend, First we have to get by midweek rival FIU at FIU start time 630PM.  You can not overlook the importance of these mid-week games. It cost us post-season consideration a few years back because of our mid-week record. Having already lost against FAU and Jacksonville, we can not afford another loss to cross-town FIU.


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