Canes Drop Rubber Match 11-3

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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After a disappointing performance Saturday night, Miami had hoped to rebound with a more positive effort in all areas of play. Instead, what they got was a reality check in that they are nowhere where they thought they were with regard to facing off against a quality team. Going into this weekend, there were high expectations with a strong rotation, a BP that would shut the door down, and balls that would be singing off the bats. Saturday and Sunday Miami woke up. All aspects of their game went from a dream with a happy ending to a total nightmare. Today, where everything was on the line, Miami’s starter, Jake Garland, floundered from the opening batter lasting not even 3 innings. Then it became pitching by committee with no one able to stop the surging flood of runs that Florida brought to the game. Miami went through 10 pitchers in an effort to stem the tide but all they were able to do is walk after walk (14) as the runs kept on mounting interspersed with a string of hits and no one was able to stop it. Florida’s secret was that they worked the pitch count and as for our offensive punch to answer their scoring just was not to be found. The only semblance of life came in the 9th trailing 11-1 and we were able to put a couple of runs on the board but even that ended on a sour note with bases loaded one out with Yoyo and Max striking out. Hardly anyone was around to see this because the Miami fateful had already left the stadium in a disappointing realization that this is not the team that was hyped as Omaha ready with a strong BP and power with the bats.

Only lineup changes came as expected with Carrier being benched and the OF once again being reshuffled. Edgardo Villegas replaced Gaby Gutierrez in left batting 7th and Zach Levenson replaced Lorenzo in right batting 8th. Dominic moved to batting 9th. One through six remained unchanged. Jake Garland, ERA 0.00, coming off a brilliant performance last week against Harvard on the rubber.

Like Saturday night, Florida did not waste any time letting the Miami fans know that they had come to play. Before late arrivals had a chance to get comfortable for an afternoon of what was advertised to be a very competitive rubber game were shocked with four straight hits and two runs very quickly on the board. With the taste of blood, the Gator continue with their attack with a SAC moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd and adding one final run to their already two with a SF to right. 

The realization came in the third that things were getting totally out of hand where Gino walked out of the dugout for the first of ten pitchers to make their way from the BP to the mound. The only pitcher not to make an appearance today was David Rossow who was warming up when the final out was painfully recorded. Jake after walking the leadoff batter in the third, was saved by a brilliant diving catch in left by Villegas only to have it followed with a single. Jake after pitching 6 strong innings last week, his day was done not being able to complete three.

From that point on, it became a revolving door of pitchers. Dubberly managed to stay for 1.1 innings and then a string of .2 innings from Schlesinger and McFarlane. Dropped off to .1 from Raudelunas and Arguelles. Ronaldo Gallo managed to last 1.1 innings before being relieved by Alejandro Torres. Torres only threw 8 pitches before being relieved by Jamar Fairweather who never recorded an out and was relieved in the long chain of pitchers by JP Gates in the 9th after Fairweather opened the inning by walking the first two batters he faced. It was definitely pitching by committee and no one had an answer on how to stop the Gators.

With Garland exiting in the third with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd, Dubberly issues a walk to load the bases. 5-3 groundout brings the 4th run across the plate. Miami in the bottom half of the inning finally had an answer with a run of their own. Dominic gets the Canes first hit of the day with two outs on the board. CJ is hit and Jacob Burke finally puts Miami on the board with a single to right for the only score they would see until the 9th when it really did not matter.

Florida hung around with a 4-1 lead until the 6th, when they broke it open with 3 more runs and 3 Miami pitchers from the BP before bringing the inning to an end. Florida opened the inning with their only homer of the game to left. Two pitchers later with BL, Gators added to their total with a 2 RBI double extending the score to 7-1.

The 8th, is where we really saw the patience of the Florida hitters. After an initial fly out to center, three straight walks to load the bases. Ronaldo Gallo was on the mound at the time. He was relieved by Alejandro Torres. WP brought in run number 8.

The 9th opened with a pair of walks by Jamar Fairweather and after two batters his day was done. Miami’s 10th pitcher of the day, JP Gates makes the final walk from the BP for today. For JP, it went as well as the others who proceeded before him. RBI single followed up with a hit by pitch to load the bases. JP gives up the 13th walk of the game and Florida’s 10th run. If not for the DP that followed 6-4-3, I am sure the BP would have become depleted bringing in David Rossow, the Lone Survivor. Rosario was out with a dead arm and Walters no need to waste a tired arm from Friday. The DP brought in Florida’s final run at 11 and would pick up their 14th walk before retiring for the day.

At 11-1, most of the 3356 fans that started watching the game did not get to see the outburst of energy in the 9th because they were long gone on their way home. Dorian led off with a full-count walk. WP advances Dorian to second. Jacoby Long, PH of Villegas, singles up the middle, and runners on the corner. WP Dorian scores. A second walk and that brings Kevin O’Sullivan out of the dugout for fear of a Miami Miracle.

Change of pitchers. Henry Wallen strikes out looking with runners on 1st and 2nd. Top of the order and CJ brings in the second run of the inning with a single up the middle. Burke walks to load the bases one out. Was there in fact a Miracle in progress with our two power hitters (Yoyo, Maxwell)set to bat.  With a 9 game hit streak on the line, Yoyo strikes out swinging. That leaves our final hope which ends with Max’s third K of the game and brings the curtain down with Florida taking home bragging rights with an 11-3 victory and definitely no Miami Miracle with a disappointing ending and it was at the game’s beginning. 

It was a weekend that needs to be put behind us. Must move forward where the bats come to play and the BP come across as they are supposed to. The team definitely did not show it this weekend and for all the hype this game generated, our offense just did not show up to play and our pitchers failed to pitch. As Gino commented after the game, “It is time to turn the page”. It better be done quickly because we travel to FIU on Tuesday who want very much to hold the 305 Bragging Rights and Boston coming on Friday to start ACC play 


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