Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
A stunned NC team watched in disbelief when an energized Miami offense struck for 4 runs in the 7th to take the lead for the first time tonight and darkened their hopes to even the series. Miami trailing by one going into the 7th, 3193 jubilant fans watched Miami put on a hitting clinic as Miami tied the score at two and added three more to take a commanding 6-3 lead. The Heels are unable to respond to our two best relievers going down in order to Gage Ziehl and Andrew Walters. Canes pick up an insurance run in the 8th sealing a series win for the second time in two weeks to a ranked opponent. 18th ranked Clemson last week and 13th ranked NC Tar Heels tonight.
No change from last night’s lineup. Karson Ziehl on the hill.
Karson got off to a very shaky start and like the other Carson, did not have the type of performance that Gino was hoping for. The Heels were aggressive at the plate from the opening pitch resulting in a single and two batters later Johnny Castagnozzi goes right-center with his 7th HR of the season. With the pitch count at 27 by the inning’s end, it would appear that Karson would be lucky if he would make it to 5.
Down 2-0, Miami responded with an equal amount of runs via a pair of doubles by Edgardo and Yoyo after CJ led off with an opening walk. Both pitchers were struggling as their starter went 3 better than Karson turning in a count of 30 for the 1st inning.
For the next 4 innings, the Heels kept on pounding the ball with multiple hits each inning but failed to capitalize each time. In the second, they opened with back-to-back singles. The third had bases loaded and the next two innings also had base runners. Karson was ice on the mound, staying off each attempt to break open the game. At 97 pitches, Gino went to an uncertain BP. Alejandro Torres is given the call
While Carolina was pounding the ball and getting nowhere we were doing likewise through 6 with just two hits. Carolina finally broke the deadlock, with Torres in relief in the 6th to take the lead with an RBI single to give them a 3-2.
A never say die Cane’s team answered the challenge and after the bats being dead since the first inning, exploded in the 7th electrifying the Miami fateful with an outpouring of hits and runs. CJ opened with a walk which was followed by four straight hits. Edgardo-single; Yoyo-RBI single; Max-2RBI double(go-ahead run); Burke-RBI single. All 4 runs without recording an out. Dorian finally broke the streak popping out to second. A single by Dominic and Zach Levenson getting hit Miami threatened again with runners on the corners. Renzo Gonzalez hits a scorching line drive down the first baseline which probably would have added two more runs, except for the brilliant play by their 1B turning a sure double into a 3-2-3 DP to end the inning.
Gino not taking any more chances with the BP holding onto a now 6-3 lead, goes with setup pitcher Gage Ziehl who only needed 9 pitches to set the Heels down in order.
Miami took advantage of 3 WP in the 8th scoring an insurance run, as a result. To make sure that there would be no hiccups in the final inning, Andrew Walters comes in clinch the series win. Just needed 12 pitches which included one strikeout.
Six of Miami’s 10 hits came in the final two innings scoring 5 unanswered runs. Leading the charge tonight was Edgardo Villegas 4-5(double,RBI) and Yohandy Morales 3-5(double,2RBIs). Max who got the go-ahead double for a pair of runs was the only other with an extra-base hit.
When it really counted, as Yoyo stated after the game: “The boys came together,” “We had to battle through and we all did our jobs. We are all fired up for tomorrow.”