Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

The Eagles soar in taking down the Canes in extra innings 12-10. The Canes led for most of the game but a combination of errors, untimely hitting, and an unreliable BP sent the game into extra innings and provided the second consecutive midweek loss of the season. JD practically cleaned out the BP sending seven scrambling to the mound when starter Ben Chestnutt was once again not able to provide a quality start. It started with Chestnutt not lasting but 4 innings giving up 4 runs and starting a stream of hit batters that tolled 8 for the game. Miami battled back from an early 2-run deficit in the first to strike back to take the lead in the second only to see the 2-run lead dissipate to tie the score at four. The bats showed life in the 5th and 6th coming up with 3 unanswered runs only to have the BP self-destruct in the 7th and 8th with 4 unanswered assisted by a costly error that let the Eagles once again take the lead by one. Jason Torres leading off the 8th with a 1-0 count hugs the right-field pole,339 feet, for his 5th homer of the year and ties the score at 8. Miami was 90 feet from winning but Cyr grounded out sending the game into extra innings. Miami hitting completely shut down in the 10th and 11TH. Eagles come up with 4 in the 12th from a breakdown in pitching and fielding. Trailing by 4, Miami fought back with back-to-back RBI singles by Cuvet and Torres to get Miami to within two runs, Costello walks to load the base with two outs. JD PH Long for Kulikowski going for matchup versus proven experience. Rest is history.

Blake Cyr returned to the lineup as the DH shifting Carrier to right and Costello to left and Chestnutt on the rubber. This was such a wrong picture to start with that it was a setup for disaster. Why Carrier in right is highly questionable. He has shown that he can’t play the position and does better in left. Costello owns the position and has made plays that Carrier would never have been able to make. As for Chestnutt once again in a starting role is unthinkable. You don’t put a middle reliever capable of 1 or 2 innings as a starter expecting him to give you at least 6 innings. When JD finally realizes this is beyond me. His start overwhelms the BP which has been having issues and doesn’t need the extra stress. We had to go to the BP 7 times because Chestnutt had his chestnuts roasted in the 4th.

The collapse of Chestnutt started with the 2nd batter singling through the left side. The single is followed two pitches later with a barn burner over the fence in left-center to give the Eagles an early 2-0 having groans heard among the fans. Miami was able to answer in the 2nd with 3 consecutive singles by Torres, Gonzalez, and Costello to load the bases. A walk to Jimenez, SF by Perez, and 2RBI single by Villegas gave the Canes a 4-2 lead and our hitting looked to be right on track.

Moving forward to the 4th and the fall of Chestnutt starts opening with a hit batter, the first of 8 that haunted our pitching throughout the game. A double and a single and the Eagles tie the game at 4.

Miami retakes control back in the 5th with one and two in the 6th with a trio of unanswered runs. Jimenez started the 5th opening with a double and scoring on a SF by Villegas. The same in the 6th opening with a double by Cuvet. Dorian brought him home on an RBI single and Carrier did the same with an RBI double.

Holding onto a 3-run lead into the 7th, Miami uses 3 from the BP throughout the next 2 innings (Naturman,Olivera,Robert) trying to hold back the surge of hits and runs unsuccessfully as the Eagles strike for 4 unanswered runs relinquishing that 3 run lead. It wasn’t the BP fully to blame. They had the assistance of a costly throwing error from center setting up the tying and go-ahead run.

Fortunately for Miami, they were able to answer in the bottom half of the 8th with a solo blast by Jason Torres. Miami had the opportunity in the 9th but Cyr failed to deliver with a man on third grounding out 5-3.

That took us into extras and the hitting machine totally shut down for the next two innings going 6up/6down. It could have ended in the 10th except for a brilliant stop by Jimenez at short preventing a base hit.

Miami batters didn’t wake up until the 12th after the Eagle put 4 on the board through failed pitching and a throwing error by Cuvet that netted an additional two runs which would have taken the game into the 13th after Miami answered coming up two short in the 12th.

Being 4 runs down and going into the bottom half of the 12th, everyone who had remained started packing their bags and heading for the exits. Everyone except for the team. They fought back after three innings of floundering getting two of the four back with back-to-back hits from Cuvet and Torres, loading the bases with the tying run on second. JD should have left things as they were with Long coming to bat. Instead, JD goes matchup and a freshman over a proven senior and fails with his decision and the Canes lose the second consecutive midweek contest which is critical for post season. It was three or 4 years ago that we failed to make the Regionals because of our mid-week record. 

Offensively the same-o, same-o problem of the inability to tie hits together. We went into snooze control in the extra innings when it was most important to apply the pressure. Our two biggest hitters Daniel Cuvet and Jason Torres continued to deliver each going 3-6. Dorian was the only other batter with multiple numbers 2-6. Blake Cyr on his return had a miserable welcome home going 0-5. We had 12 hits overall but two very costly defensive errors. That plus 11 strikeouts

As for our pitching, the Achilles Heel was resurrected with 8 pitchers making their way from the BP to the dugout with not the best quality performance. Why Chestnutt once again our midweek starter is beyond me. He has shown over and over he is unable to deliver. I had thought Jordan Vargas would get tonight’s call but he never even had his number called up. Somebody mentioned he is being saved for the weekend and if that is so who is he replacing? Midweek is very important as earlier discussed and hopefully JD has a master plan to turn these setbacks around.

If we can come away with a series win against the Gators, will help take away this sour taste left from tonight’s loss. Interesting whether JD decides to change gears and move Ziehl to Sunday. Loyalty is one thing, but reality like starting Chestnutt is not in the team’s best interests. Will have to wait and see. The first pitch Friday set for 7PM. 


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