Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
MERCY! MERCY! MERCY! That was the cry heard today for the 5th time Miami has failed to reach the semi-finals in the ACC Tournament. The second year we went 0-2 in pool play on Truist field in Charlotte having been outscored this Tournament 25-9. With national seeding up for contention, that should have been motivation enough. Instead, what started out like all was heading in that direction, suddenly wasn’t. The only bright spot came on the very first pitch to CJ Kayfus leading off the first. A 412-foot jack to center gave Miami an opening 1-0 lead. From there everything went south at great neck speeds. Starter Karson Ligon ran into the Deacon buzz saw giving up 4 consecutive hits to open the third including their first of 7 home runs for the day. What followed was the carousel of pitchers contributing to the onslaught of runs Wake put on the board. Ronaldo Gallo followed Karson but met a similar fate with a pair of homers extending the score to 6-1. Whoever Gino put in met with similar results as home run after home run was pounded out. Seven pitchers were sent to try to stop the bleeding and all failed to do so. By the 7th inning, it was more than over with as the separation was overwhelming and the Mercy Rule was brought into play with the score at 16-3.
Gino at the post-game interview stated, “We didn’t play very well, we didn’t pitch very well, and did not hit with anybody on base. To put it in plain English we were 1-13(.077) with runners on. This has been Miami’s book all season. At times we had our spurts when we looked good, especially during the 14-game win streak, but most of the time either the bats failed to show for the game or our pitching, which I still feel is our Achilles Heel, fail to produce. When Karson was not able to contain the Deacon attack, it became an embarrassment that with each new pitcher, a bountiful of homers would be seen sailing out of the park. Call it what you may but with the play, they are playing with no arms on the mound they are definitely heading down the road to nowhere. What can be done between now and next Friday when we host the Regionals will have to be a minor miracle if we expect to advance. This team is leaving Charlotte with no momentum and definitely no pitching.
If there was any bright spot and someone who came to play it has to be the team’s MVP CJ Kayfus. He was 3-4 with a pair of doubles on top of the lead-off homer that had us feeling on a high note before everything came crumbling down. Yoyo was the only other player with an extra base hit (double) coming in the final inning. Max followed with a walk, for the third time in the game, giving us runners on first and second with two outs. Jacob puts the final finish on a miserable game with a strikeout.
CJ was involved in all three of Miami’s runs. In the first, it was the solo HR. In the 3rd, he doubles advancing Dominic to third after he led off the inning with a walk. Lastly, in the 5th, his lead-off double, advancing to third on a WP and scoring on a 4-3 ground out by Burke
Any chance of hosting a Super Regional probably went null and void with today’s performance. We will still host a Regional at home, but if we continue to play as we did in Charlotte, this season will come to an end on a disappointing note.
Noon on Monday ESPN2 we will find out who we are paired with. Projections had Florida being one of the four. Let’s hope not because they definitely have our number. I would not start making plans for Omaha unless we can perform a Miami Miracle.