Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Seven innings of shutdown dominance as the Gators make it their 5th straight series win at the Gables. Once again they showed that they own the Canes coming off a 10-6 loss Saturday night to rebound with 5 HRs accounting for 7 of their 8 runs. Miami who had 5 of their own Saturday could only capture one for today coming in the 8th inning; too little, too late. Miami trailed the entire day unable to get a hit only having 3 until Dorian Gonzalez came to the plate to PH for Lorenzo Carrier in the 8th. With BL, Dorian gave the Miami hopeful their only ray of hope delivering a 375 PH grand slam HR off the scoreboard. This narrows the score to two runs and thoughts of a swinging of the tide with another Mark Light Magical Moment. Gators put this to rest coming back with a two-run shot of their own by Colby Shelton his second of the day and the Gator’s 5th. This sealed it for a Gator victory and Miami’s 5th loss of the season.

Changes to the Cane’s lineup had Blake Cyr who DH on Saturday moved to 2B replacing Dorian Gonzalez still batting 2nd. Gaby Gutierrez replaced Lorenzo Carrier in left who moved to the DH and batting 7th. With Gaby in left, Edgardo moved to center replacing Jacoby remaining in the leadoff position. The 64000 dollar question everyone was asking was why is Dorian not in the lineup in any capacity. Batting .326 it is unfathomable to keep one of our most consistent hitters not in the lineup again a top rank opponent. If you want to rest him wait until Wednesday when his bat will not be critically missed.

Miami riding on a high from last night’s victory had an easy first inning going and after retiring the first 2 batters the final out should have been a routine 6-3 groundout with only 13 pitches thrown.  Instead, the routine grounder turned into an error and changed the complexion of the entire game that was to follow. 13 pitches turned into 25 before the inning’s end but more importantly, the next batter following the error resulted in a 2 RBI homer to left; the first of two that Colby Shelton would post for the day. 

The grumblings could already be heard from the Miami fans as our defense put us behind the 8 ball and in catch-up mode. Miami is not good at coming from behind and today will prove just that. The Miami batters were facing off against Jac Caglianone considered by most as the next Shohei Ohtani. A two-way player coming into the game batting .463 with a fastball reaching 98 MPH. He would complete the day batting 3-5 with one HR and striking out 11 Canes in 6 innings.

Miami wouldn’t see their first hit until the 3rd inning when Edgardo connected with a two-out double down the first base line. Blake Cyr followed with a walk. This was as close to Miami scoring until the  6th inning when they had runners on second and third two outs. 

Except for the third inning where we had runners on base, Caglianone kept the Canes at bay striking out 10 through five with no other hit or baserunner until the 6th inning. 

With one HR on the board giving Florida the 2-0 end of one, fast forward to the 4th. Hernandez is still on the mound. only having given up one hit since the first inning HR. The 4th was the beginning of the end for Herick Hernandez. Ty Evans leads off the 4th and takes the second pitch to deep left-center to open the inning with a HR. Tyler Shelnut followed suit with the same making it back-to-back. On completion of his round of the bases, the home plate umpire ejects him from the game for flipping his bat approaching first base. This caused a stink from the Florida bench but this shows the intensity of this rivalry. As a footnote, there was no shaking of hands by the teams after the game which is customary for any game.

Florida would add one more to their already 4-0 lead to start the 5th with a lead-off HR; their 4th of the game. This would be by their pitcher Jac Caglianone.

Miami trailing 5-0 going into the 6th with only one hit showing on the scoreboard finally broke through on Caglianone’s fastball with a one-out single by Cyr. Daniel Cuvet next to bat, hits the ball back to the pitcher who goes 1-6 but is unable to complete the DP.  Jason followed moving Blake to third on a double down the RF line. Carrier already with two strikeouts for the day, adds a third, and Caglianone 11th completing his tour of duty on the mound and transferring to 1B for the remainder of the game.

We move fast forward once again to the 8th inning and Brandon Olivera is on the mound replacing Hernandez to start the 6th. With already 5 unanswered runs, The Gators set themselves up for run #6 with a one-out double followed by a single putting runners on the corners. Tanner Garrison executes a perfect squeeze scoring Yost from third. With the score 6-0, A goodly number of Miami faithful were heading for the gates as they had enough of Miami’s inability to stop the Gator Express.

Miami was deep in the hole 6-0 with only three hits to show through 7 innings JD started looking towards the bench. Leading off Jack Scanlon, PH for Perez walks. Two outs follow. Daniel Cuvet on three appearances (walk in the 1st) singles to SS. Jason Gets hit by a pitch to load the bases. JD goes to the bench once more calling up Dorian to PH for Carrier who was 0-3 for the day (3Ks). Dorian did not waste any time taking the first pitch and rifling it to left-center striking the scoreboard for a grand slam and just like that 6-0 became 6-4 and there was a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time, those remaining Cane fans had something to cheer about.

The cheering quickly faded with Colby Shelton coming to the plate with two outs man on first. The first pitch from Nick Robert who came in to pitch the 9th puts the final nail into the Cane’s hope for a Mark Light Miracle with a 2-run shot to dead center cementing an 8-4 series win.

Offensively, there was no offense. The bats were silent with just five hits and 13 strikeouts. The coldness of the bats reflected their overall batting of .156 to the Gator’s .308. You don’t win games with no offense and sloppy defense. No player with multiple hits. A pair of doubles: Jason Torres and Edgardo Villegas along with Dorian who JD left out of today’s starting lineup came through with a Grand Slam giving Miami a glitter of hope at the end. 

Miami with a record of 6-5 next challenge is Stonehill midweek. With already losing our first two midweek games this is a must-win situation with all hands on deck. It doesn’t get easy after that with the start of the ACC schedule. If we can’t turn things around, this time next week we might have more losses than wins. First things first. Start time for Wednesday 6PM. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *