Canes Sweep Saturday Doubleheader Against Towson

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami ensured itself of a series win over the Towson Tigers sweeping both ends of today’s DH which started at 2:03 PM and did not conclude until almost midnight (11:42). Unlike Friday’s opener, the roar from the Tiger was never heard. Behind the strong pitching of Carson Palmquist and Jake Garland along with an electric offense Towson only managed to scape up two runs per game as the Canes took early control and never let up on the throttle. The BP answered the call only allowing the Tiger just one run for both games. In game one it was the awesome display of power pounding out 11 runs on 12 hits while in game two it was patience at the plate that was instrumental in the final victory.

Strong starts from both our pitchers kept The Towson batters frustrated in their inability to find the hole like they were able to do in Friday’s opener. Palmquist in his role as starter showed the magic of why he was considered one of the best closers in college baseball last year. The question was whether he could sustain beyond two or three innings which the Towson hitters soon found out to their dismay. He pitched for 5 very strong innings only allowing a single hit coming in his final inning from the leadoff hitter finding the LF fence. Carson quickly took the message to the Tiger opening batters striking out the first two Tigers on 6 straight pitches. The third batter took it to a full count before being swinging for the final strike. Added two more strikeouts in the second which was his signature at being a closer. He wasn’t prolific in the strikeouts thereafter only managing two more but still maintained the finesse in just allowing the solitary hit in the 5th. 
Jake on the other hand took a whole different style on the mound in working in overdrive mode. Did not let any grass grow under his feet between pitches. Unlike Carson, he found himself in trouble in his mid-innings but worked himself out of it. He was also working under a bit of a handicap in that he was working under a work delay brought about by the weather. The 7 PM start was delayed until 805 and after completing half of the first, the heavens opened once again and play did not resume until almost an hour later. Normally a rain interruption sees a change in pitching but Gino stayed with Jake.  Other than the 3rd and 4th inning where he showed tiring, particularly in the 4th where he hit two batters and committed a throwing error Gino decided to stay with him which proved the right decision. Bounced back to have both a strong 5th and 6th in a 3up/3down output which included coming away with 3 additional strikeouts totaling 8.
In game two, the rock was turned over to freshman Karson Ligon who had a very good preseason. Got off to a shaky start, but finished strong the next two innings finishing with a 3up/3down 8th. Jamar Fairweather, for me, was the biggest surprise. He had a terrible preseason and my assessment was that he would see limited action this season. So what does he do? Comes in the 9th and throws 13 pitches recording 3 straight strikeouts.
The BP in the 3rd game gave another strong showing in relief. Anthony Arguelles pitched two innings of solid relief having a 3up/3down 7th and would have gone likewise in the 8th after a pair of strikeouts to open but was unable to complete going another 3up/3down by an error at short. After giving up a walk a final strikeout completed his tour of duty. Alejandro Torres pitched the wrapup and like Fairweather in the first game was another person I had sitting stagnated in the BP because of his preseason performances. 12 pitches and three groundouts completed his first appearance and now like Fairweather has thrown his hat into the ring of making a difference.
Offensively the bats were hot, hot, hot, particularly in the first game of the twin bill. After a slow first with a pair of strikeouts, it appeared the second was going the same route until Dorian Gonzalez recorded his first hit as a Cane driving the ball 406 feet going into the second deck of the parking garage. Dorian set the spark and CJ Kayfus and Yoyo jumped on the bandwagon with a pair of doubles to go along with a single by Jacoby Long to add another two runs to the one from the preceding inning. Towson finally answered in the 5th with a solo shot to bring them within 2 and then it became one an inning later when we had the pitching change and Towson no longer had to deal with Carson. A leadoff single to start the 6th followed by 2 batters later a double to right as a result of Burke losing his footing putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. A SF to left brought them to within one and thoughts of Friday night returning.  That was soon put to rest with a 2 run blast from Lorenzo Carrier who has just been killing the ball. He had a triple Friday night and now adds a 2 run bomb to his resume. May not be the best of fielders but he can sure hit. The one-run margin expanded to 3 and in the 7th made it to 7 with a 4 run outburst. The bats at this point were sizzling. Three doubles (CJ, Dorian, Carrier) along with a walk and a single. Dorian and Carrier’s were back-to-back. The 7 run spread became 9 in the 8th with Zach Levenson, PH, getting his first hit which was a two-run round-tripper.
In the second game, a bit of rust accumulated from the rain delay and had to make up for the one-run deficit coming in the third on a SF to center. Canes answered in the bottom half of the same inning putting 3 runs in exchange. This came about on 3 straight singles (Long, Jones, Kayfus), throw in a WP and a groundout scoring the third and final run. Lead reduced to one in the 4th, on what could have been major damage and instead damage control came away sporting a single run. Thought JD would have made an earlier visit to the mound after Jake almost threw the ball into CF trying to execute a DP. This was followed by a HP to load the bases. It wasn’t until Jake hit a second batter and a run-scoring that JD walked to the mound to settled him down. the talk must have worked for with BL struck out the next batter. Towson gets it back to a one-run spread the following inning and Miami answered with 3 more. This was brought about with a pair of opening walks and Carrier singling to load the bases. Long’ SF to right for the first of three. Jones reloads the bases via a walk of his own. CJ is hit for the 2nd run and a WP for the final. Miami would add another run in the 5th with Yoyo’s first HR of the year hitting the top of the R on the scoreboard. The score 8-2 in the 8th, the Canes tacked on five more runs to put the icing on the cake. Patience was the order of the day coming from 5 walks, a pair of singles and a HP.
Defensively, we played a whole lot better. Might have been opening day jitters and for a lot of these kids, playing before a large crowd under the lights for the first time. In their 2nd night game, the team batted .333 and pitching held the Tigers to .148.  While our BP sparkled, that is where Towson faltered. Once we managed to change out on their starters, it became open season for our batters. 
Tomorrow we go for the sweep so bring out your brooms. Alex McFarlane will be starting on the mound with a start time of 1 PM.


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