Canes Shutout Crimson In Finale Blowout, To Improve Record To 6-1

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami’s first rubber match-up of the year, was a total team effort as the bats went long and the pitching electrified the Light. Miami didn’t waste any time getting on the board against a very competitive Harvard team putting on the hurt early with 9 runs in the first 3 innings. The bats for the Crimson for the second time in as many days stayed dormant thanks to the pitching today of Jake Garland and company.

Harvard struggled to find a hit as Jake’s sub 90 speed loaded with junk allowed for just 2 hits. Jake’s control was so overpowering that he had 8 consecutive groundouts before two strikeouts interrupted this streak. Jake’s day could have easily gone longer only having thrown 63 pitches through 6 innings, but victory had been secured although the final out was still pending. The BP made sure of that taking up where Jake left off only allowing one hit coming in the 9th. It was the Crimson’s first hit since the 3rd inning. Miami was clicking on all cylinders today turning in a shut-out performance. The true test will come next Friday against arch-rival Florida where the hitting and pitching will have to work in sync to perfection.

Gino made minor adjustments to the lineup rotating personnel in the OF to offset Harvard’s starter who was a RH. Gino went with 6 LH in the lineup. No changes to the IF. Dorian Gonzalez moved up in the order batting second replacing Mike Rosario. JP Gates was put into the lineup as DH batting 6th. Carrier who was last night’s DH returned to RF and batted 7. Being hitless in his last three games and having another hitless performance today, it will be interesting if he will be relieved of his duties with one of our many productive OF. In the 8th position, Edgardo Villegas gets the call playing CF. Dropping all the way to the 9th position is Dominic Pitelli who has been 2-24 since opening day when he went 4-4. I don’t expect to see him removed from the lineup because his glove is too valuable at short. On the mound Jake Garland ERA .000.

Harvard’s pitcher for today was somewhat of an enigma in that he is a senior and has only thrown 3.1 innings in his career. Speaking with a Boston scout, he could go in either direction from overpowering or searching for control. Miami hitters soon found out it was the latter. Miami struck with 4 runs in the first headlined with a 405-foot rocket off the bat of Jacob Burke over the LF wall for three additional runs; his second of the year. The initial run came from a single by Yoyo setting up runners on the corners. WP, the second of the inning, would bring Dorian in from third for the first run.

Miami built on the four-run first inning with 4 more in the second. Batting around the order, led off by Edgardo Villegas reaching 1st after being hit on the elbow guard. Unfortunately for Edgardo today that he was a target getting hit again in the 5th this time to his ankle. Dominic looking at an 0-2 count finally hit paydirt with a single to left ending the long-drawn-out drought. Third WP by Zinn advanced the runners one base. CJ gets the scoring started with an E4 scoring Edgardo.

Runners on the corners Dorian’s single to right scores Pitelli from third. That would be it for Zinn only lasting one inning. His relief found no relief in Yoyo tagging a ball deep enough to center (SF) for the 3rd run of the inning. Back-to-back singles by Max and Burke added one more run to the three already across this inning. At the end of 2, the Canes pretty much decided the outcome of the pivotal game to decide the series.

Just to make sure, in the 3rd CJ put on a bit of insurance with a 389 shot to LF for his first homer of the year, and the final nail inserted in the 6th for the third downtown special coming off the bat of Carlos Perez going 351 feet over the LF wall. This was Carlos’s first at-bat for the season coming off a thumb injury that has had him sidelined until now. Gino did not put him behind the plate as of yet having Jones come in to catch in the 7th. 

The offense gave Jake all the insurance, not that he needed it, to ensure the win. The defense contributed to making some unbelievable plays which had the fans left with their mouths open. The first coming in the third with a throw by Jacob Burke in left. Hunter Baldwin connected to a shot hitting the LF wall for a sure double. Not satisfied, tried stretching it into a triple. Hunter was not counting on the throwing arm of Jacob who threw a one bouncer to third for the tag. In the 7th, a sinking line drive that Gaby Gutierrez goes airborne to grab it from falling in for a single. The infield contributed in the 8th with an over-the-shoulder spinning catch by Dorian when Zach lost the ball in the sun. 

The BP completed the totality of today’s one-sided contest finishing what Jake had set up. The combined pitching of Garland, Dubberly, Raudelunas, Torres, and Gates would set down 14 consecutive batters without reaching base. Harvard would not see their first hit after the double in the third which Burke threw out at third until the 9th inning. Miami pitching staff held Harvard batters to a .103 average (3-29).

Only had one batter with multiple hits today. Jacob Burke had a 2-3 day which included the first of three runs belted out (CJ,Perez) picking up 4 RBIs. The HRs accounted for 5 of the double-digit ten runs put up on the board. The other 6 hits were for singles. Only had 4 strikeouts for the entire day. CJ continued his hitting streak at 9 as well as Yoyo with 8. Max is right behind them at 6.

After a horrendous Friday beginning and a squeaker of a Saturday, this was a much-needed breather and a definite confidence builder moving forward with the coming series with Florida. There is no mid-week game and the start time for the Gators of Friday before a sold-out stadium will be 7PM.

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