Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Before a sold-out crowd of 3555 fans with a large contingency of Gators travelling from Gatorland to watch the Gators take game 1 in the best of three 7-3. Gage Ziehl gave a commendable outing lasting 6 innings holding Florida to 4 runs and trialing by one after throwing 102 pitches. Unfortunately for Gage, he did not receive support from his defense in which two of the four runs were not from his doing. Another run in the 9th should not have been, again due to the poor play of the defense. Take away these mental and actual errors and the Canes still couldn’t overcome the dominance of pitching and hitting of the Gators. The only bright spot which had the Cane fans celebrating came in the third inning with a two-run homer to put the Canes in the lead 2-1. It was short-lived as the Gators answered with two in the top half of the 4th to regain the lead which they never relinquished. Miami’s 5th, was the last time the Canes had the opportunity to turn the game around with BL but only able to come away with one run. That would put the game to within one run but a weakened BP couldn’t keep the Gators off the board scoring 3 runs in the final three innings. Miami has lost the last 9 of 10 series to Florida and 4 straight in Coral Gables and unless the offense can show a bit more aggressiveness with their bats we might be looking at #5

The only change to the lineup is Jacoby Long in center batting 9th. Edgardo Villegas moved to left and Lucas Costello to right replacing Lorenzo Carrier.

Gators got off to a quick start with a lead-off single advancing to 2nd on a WP. An error by Jimenez at short on a hard grounder off his chest having the Canes in catch-up mode trailing by one. it would take until the 3rd that Miami was able to respond and taking the lead on a two-out homer by Jason Torres; his sixth of the season. The inning started strong with back-to-back singles by Edgardo Villegas and Blake Cyr and our best hitter stepped up to the plate. Daniel Cuvet who has been a one-man wrecking crew this season came into the game batting .606. After being hit in the first inning, the fans were on the edge of their seats expecting at the minimum a base hit but deep down expecting something bigger. What they watched was a 6-4-3 DP to the dismay of the Cane fans. Spirits returned with the next batter Jason Torres did what we expected Daniel to do in going long just clearing the RF fence. For a moment in time, everyone held their breath until the ump signaled a HR, and Miami for that moment led 2-1 end of three.

It didn’t take long for the Gator’s to respond and it appeared with their second look at Gage it was going to be another 4th inning disaster. Gage strikes out the lead-off batter and then things turned south. A single followed by a double. What should have been an easy out at home with a hard grounder to first with runners on second and third one out turns into a badly executed play by Torres throwing home way off the mark allowing the tying run to score. What should have been the second out left the door open for a single scoring another run. Instead of the score remaining 2-1 Florida retakes the lead 3-2 which Miami was never able to recovered from. 

Florida would add to their lead in the 5th with a homer extending their lead to 4-2. What could have been a breakout response in the bottom half of the 5th, we only managed to answer with one run. Back-to-back hit batters (Cuvet,Torres) loaded the bases with one out after Edgardo had a one-out single. Dorian walks on four straight pitches to bring the Canes to within one, two outs. Lucas Costello chance to deliver a crushing blow instead strikes out looking at the third strike.

Gators delivered their crushing blow in the 7th with back-to-back HRs and almost a third taking it to the deepest part in center and being caught at the fence. With a three-run lead they would add one more in the 9th on mishandled throw from Cuvet double clutching the ball and having the runner beat it out. This resulted in a four-run spread which Miami did not have an answer for. Edgardo gave a bit of hope doubling in the 9th having runners on 2nd and 3rd two out only to have Cyr end it on a 6-3 groundout.

Offensively, it was not a picturesque day with the bat. Seven scatters hits with no extra bases and one HR from Jason Torres with no one on base. 10 strikeouts to accompany an overall batting of.206. With runners in scoring position 1-7. You don’t win games against a quality team with numbers like this. The only player with multiple numbers was Edgardo Villegas going 3-5 (double). Edgardo accounted for almost half our hits. 

Gage pitched his best game of the season. Unfortunately he did not receive the support from his defense and the inability of our batters able to tie together hits and put runs on the board. The BP continues struggling after Wednesday where they cleaned house and four of the 7 that saw action returned to the mound tonight. Gage got us to the 7th, but the inexperience of the BP were unable to hold off the Florida hitters unleashing with 3 unanswered runs in the final 3 innings.

They do it again with first pitch at 3PM. Miami trying to rebound and the Gators looking to take their 5th straight series at the Light.


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