Canes Bats Come Alive As They Defeat FIU, 12-5

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami coming off a very disappointing weekend, there were high expectations that they would turn things around not only offensively which had struggled to find a hit, but for a BP looking for someone to take control of the game. Rather than turning the page and getting back on course, for the first 4 innings tonight, they continued to play in a confused fog struggling both offensively and defensively. The bats were lifeless, our starter was unable to get beyond 4 innings, and had a BP that was marginal at best. If it wasn’t for a breakout 7th inning where FIU went through a depleted BP, the outcome might have been a whole different outcome. In the 7th, for the offense, they turned that troubling page bringing 12 batters to the plate coming away with 9 runs on 9 hits. The FIU BP was in total collapse and the Miami bats took every advantage running off a string of 7 straight hits which not only gave Miami the lead for the first time but it put the game on ice. It was not a pretty game in any sense of the word but possibly the break-out 7th gave our offense bats the push they need to keep turning the pages forward rather than moving in the opposite direction. As for the BP, that is another story and JD needs to go back to the drawing board in tightening not only the BP but getting to the level where our starters can consistently get beyond the 5th inning. This team will live or die on the mound and right now it is spirally in a slow death.

Tonight’s lineup was a bit unexpected to see the return of Lorenzo Carrier back in the lineup. His poor performance since Towson both in the field and with the bat should have kept him on the sidelines for a while. Tonight another 0-3 performance with a pair of strikeouts dropping his average to .226. He has not had a hit since the Towson series. Gino sees something I am missing. He was quoted as saying I am going to use the players that are hitting. Time to practice what you preach. We have plenty of OF ready to be given the opportunity. 

The lineup for tonight 1-6 same as in every game. Changes to the bottom of the order with Carrier batting 7th (RF), Villegas 8th (LF), and Pitelli 9th. Getting the start tonight Alex McFarlane ERA 4.50.

FIU’s starter Carlos Lequerica going into tonight’s contest in his 5 appearances had a total of 4 strikeouts. In a matter of two innings, he more than doubled that. The first 5 batters he faced (Kayfus,Burke,Morales, Romero,Perez) ALL struck out. Dorian broke the streak with a single before Carrier gave Carlos his 6th strikeout for the evening.

While our offense floundered at the plate, McFarlane was doing likewise on the mound. Like Florida, FIU got quickly on the scoring carousel with a one-out double, walk, followed by another double. In defense of CJ, the ball took a weird sort of bounce at the last second jumping over his head resulting in the first run. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, SF to right gave FIU the lead 2-0 end of one

Miami had the opportunity to get back in the ballgame in the 3rd with BL one out but getting that key hit or SF was not in the cards. With our two power hitters up (Yoyo,Max) they couldn’t get the ball out of the IF. Yoyo fouling out to 1st and Max grounding out to first.

Trailing 2-0 into the 5th, FIU turned to the BP which was the beginning of their end. They went through 6 relievers trying to stop the bleeding but the sleeping giant finally awoke and there was no stopping the hunger coming off the Miami bats. They picked up 2 runs in the 5th to tie the score with Villegas leading off getting hit and Dominic Pitelli getting his second single of the night. Back to the top of the order and CJ comes through with a double to get us to within one run of a tie and Jacob Burke finalizes it with a SF to center
The resilience of getting back in the ballgame did not last long with Jordan Dubberly coming in for McFarlane relinquished the ground gained giving FIU the lead back coming from an opening single, walk, FO to right advancing both runners, and a ground out giving FIU the lead once again

Miami tied the game once again in the 6th with a WP bringing home Carlos Perez who opened with a double only to see it lost in the bottom half of the inning with another pitching change for the Canes. Alejandro Torres, who transferred in this season from FIU had trouble starting the inning throwing 4 straight balls, hit the next batter, SAC advancing both runners and capping it off with a WP bring in the go-ahead run.

The 7th, FIU’s ship sailed into turbulent waters being torpedoed with 9 runs on 9 hits 7 coming consecutively. Either FIU had no one left in the BP or it just took this long for this Sleeping Giant to wake up. CJ started what would come to 12 batters making their mark. CJ opened with a walk, advancing to 3rd on a WP and PB. Jacob got the score rolling with a double. Yoyo next in line singled (runners on the corners). Max who has had all sorts of issues trying to come up with a hit, took all his frustrations out on the second pitcher to make his appearance in the 7th for FIU with a 409-foot blast over the CF fence for 3 big runs. Miami was on a roll and not about to slow down. FIU was in total abandoned ship mode. Carlos Perez following the HR hit a Bermuda Triangle special where second, center and RF couldn’t decide who was to catch the ball, so no one did and it fell within a foot of the trio for a double. Dorian would follow this double with a real double off the RF wall for the 5th run of the inning. Rosario next inline, PH for Carrier, singles to second and E4 error scores run #6. Villegas singles but no runs resulted. That being the 7th hit, a couple of outs followed without a run. Burke started up the run carousel with a single through the middle for a pair of RBIs and Yoyo ended the marathon of hits/runs with an RBI double. this was the largest outpouring of hits/runs this season and maybe it was this kick in the butt that will definitely turn the page into a new chapter.

Miami’s BP still struggled even after their marathon 7th giving up a run in the 8th before putting everything to rest bringing in Andrew Walters to pitch the 9th. Just took 14 pitches to take the FIU batters down in order for the first time tonight.

Half of Miami’s hits came in the 7th. 5 Players had multiple hits tonight: Jacob Burke 2-3 (double,4RBIs); Yoyo 2-5(double,RBI); Carlos Perez 2-4 (2doubles); Dorian Gonzalez 2-4 (double,RBI); Dominic Pitelli 2-4. Max Romero had lone HR going 1-4 (3RBI)

Pitching struggled with Alex getting off to a rough start and not lasting beyond the 4th. Gave up 2 runs, walked 2, and struck out three. The BP continues having their problems unable to find the right go-to person. If we didn’t have Walters as Closer, the future would be very questionable. Whatever Gino says otherwise, the BP is our Achilles Heel at this time. With the start of ACC play this weekend JD has his work cut out for him.

Start time on Friday against Boston is 7PM.


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