Canes Drop Game 1 To Harvard, 11-6, For First Loss Of The Season

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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It was a night of deja vu regarding the tough reality of our pitching and the hot bats that ignited during the first five games came to a sizzling fizzle. The saying “on any given day”, tonight was such a day. Harvard has not played in 719 days due to COVID exhibiting hitting like they were the ones who were 5-0 and we were taking to the field for the first time in 2 years. The troubles we had last year of our starter not being able beyond the 5th and the BP sort of fumbling the ball in relief was like watching a page being taken out of last year’s script. For the second week, starter Alejandro Rosario looked nothing like what a Friday night starter should look like. Last week, he lost control of his game in the 4th, tonight it was the 3rd. You can’t live on one pitch alone, and tonight Harvard, like Towson last week took it to the bank. The BP which has been our bread and butter this season was a smear in not being able to contain the Crimson batters. On this given night, the Canes definitely got their wake-up call. Tomorrow is another day, at least let’s hope so.

Not much change to the lineup. One through four remained the same (CJ,Pitelli,Yoyo,Romero). With Dominic continually spiraling downward in not finding what he had opening day, how much longer is Gino going to keep him in the second position. In the last 5 games, he has been 2-21. Time to think of moving him back to the 8th slot. Burke and D Gonzalez are in the 5th and 6th positions. Carrier dropped to 7th with Rosario returning to DH and Edgardo Villegas batting 9th and playing CF, Carrier tonight in right and Burke in left. Going against Adam Stone, reportedly one of the best in the Ivy League, Gino went with 6 of the 9 players in the lineup who were batting left. On the mound Alejandro Rosario ERA 9.0
Miami in the first inning looked every bit like being a 5-0 team against a team who hadn’t played in two years. Dominic got things rolling with a one-out walk followed up with Yoyo singling to left. Yoyo has now hit safely in 5 straight games. Dominic steals third and the throw to third, gets by the 3B (E5) and Dominic comes home for the initial score of the game. Max adds to the score with a single of his own and Miami takes an early 2-0 lead which they would hold until the 3rd inning.
It took three innings for Harvard to figure out how to hit a Rosario fastball, but in doing so put a major hurt on what would be the beginning of the end for Alejandro. Back-to-back opening singles followed by a SAC put runners on 2nd and 3rd. RBI single would put Harvard on the board. Runners on the corners, a grounder to Yoyo could have ended the inning with a DP, instead, fumbling with the ball allowing a run to score only able to get the batter at first. Two runs already in tying the score at two, Harvard takes the lead with a two-out double. Three runs on 4 hits.

The Crimson add to their lead the following inning with a one-out double which preceded a bomb of a shot over the LF fence adding two more to their total extending their lead to three. Rosario would stay until the end of the inning, but that would be the last we would see of him for the evening.

The 5th inning would see a change of pitchers for Harvard. It was the break the Canes needed. Although Stone had control issues throughout his tenure on the mound, after the 1st for the next 3 innings Miami was only able to collect a single hit. Miami got their chance to get back into the ballgame with a one-out walk to Yoyo advancing to second on a WP. Yoyo scores on a two-out-double by Jacob Burke. A single by Dorian Gonzalez brings in run #2. A balk gets him to second. Carrier walks. Runners on 1st and 2nd, Rosario singles scoring Gonzalez. The throw home, catcher throws to third attempting to get Carrier. The ball gets by the third baseman and Carrier breaks for home not realizing the ball did not get that far away from third. The play at the plate had him dead to rights. When the dust had cleared the score was tied at 5.
It looked like the tide was changing when the following inning Miami took back the lead on a pair of walks and a pair of WPs.

The lead did not last long, with Harvard taking the lead back on a 2 run shot to left-center. You could feel the air go out from the fans in disbelief. It was a mass exit from the stadium when Harvard added 4 more runs without recording a single hit. It was all done on 3 walks to load the bases. SF for the initial run. Another walk to reload the bases, WP (R), walk (R), balk (R). This was ugliness at the highest level coming from our BP.
Miami had nothing left in their tank after the 6th to answer and Harvard ended the game on a spectacular catch by their CF on a shot by Jacob Burke who was attempting to start a miracle at the Light. Going to have to wait until tomorrow to erase the 11-6 defeat tonight.

Offensively, it was not the night to take advantage of a pitching staff that had been dormant for so long without having any game under their belt. Of the 9 hits, only two were for extra bases, both doubles (Romero,Burke). Two with multiple hits: Max 2-5(double) and Dorian Gonzelez a perfect evening 3-3 (RBI,walk). An evening that should have been, was anything but. Hopefully, tomorrow they can rekindle the flame and get back to where they have been the previous 5 games. 

Pitching tonight was a total wreck from the starter to the BP. After two floundering starts, Gino needs to think seriously of keeping Rosario as our Friday starter. I was surprised to see him in that role last Friday for I felt the better choice would have been Palmquist.

Might think of moving him to Wednesday until he can work on his game and possibly think of utilizing Ligon for Sunday. Still might be early but of our young pitchers, just might be our diamond in the rough. More likely, I see the Florida rotation being Palmquist, Garland, McFarlane.

Not getting ahead of ourselves, we still have to be concerned about this series and rebounding from this setback which left all our mouths wide open wondering what had happened. Tonight the better team won and they did it with their offense. Their pitching was not the best with control issues, but our hitting has to do a whole lot better than the effort they put forth tonight.

Game two has a start time of 7PM.

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