Gators Run Away With Game 2, 8-1; Rubber Match Set For Sunday

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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To beat a quality team, you must be a quality team. You have to play to perfection with no flaws to one’s defense, an offense that comes to play, and a BP to close the door. Tonight, Miami had none of these qualities other than a quality starting pitcher who came to play but did not receive the support he needed in all facets of the game. Florida on the other hand took advantage of every mistake Miami made and capitalized with runs. Statistically, both teams’ numbers were pretty much the same in almost every category. The most glaring difference was in errors and for everyone we made it cost us in runs. Florida last night was not at their optimum best leaving 12 runners on base mainly due to our pitching and quality defense. Tonight they only left one. Miami left the door open in 3 innings (1,3,9) and we paid dearly. Karson Ligon in his second start was spectacular going 7 full innings, striking out 8 without giving up any free passes. One of the three hits was earned and instead of 3 runs, should have had zeroes across the board. The three runs that were shown were from the failure of the defense to properly execute. When Miami had a chance to get back into the game, we had no Closer to turn to nor the bats to come through with timely hits. Florida ties the series at one and tomorrow it is the rubber match with winner take all.

Rubber stamp the lineup as the same as last night with the exception of the 9th batter. Replacing Gaby Gutierrez in left, Gino went with LH Edgardo Villegas. Since the Towson series, Lorenzo Carrier has gone 0-12 and has seen his average go from .500 to .250. His defensive play has been marginal at best and after tonight it should be obvious to even Gino that he is an error waiting to happen as I related on opening day. As one of my readers related our right fielder is no fielder. It is time he is benched and start utilizing one of our many talented OF who can hit and field. He is a liability in the outfield as seen tonight.

Miami defeated themselves defensively. The defense failed Karson Ligon with the opening batter. A very generous call from the scorer gave a double to right on what should have been a routine out. Carrier totally misjudged the ball one he should have had for the first out. Instead, Florida has a runner on second. WP the runner takes 3rd. Max in his attempt to get the runner throws wide of 3rd and within a blink of the eye Florida takes a 1-0 lead.Miami had an opportunity to even the score in their half of the inning with a 2 out double off the LF wall by Yoyo but was left stranded with a Romero strikeout. This would be the 1st of 7 left stranded.

The 3rd, once again the defense failed Ligon. What should have been the third out of the inning via a K, instead has the batter standing on first from a PB.(E2). That opened the door for Jud Fabian with his 4th HR of the season sailing over the LF fence. Yoyo had an opportunity to get back some of these misguided runs with runners on 2nd and 3rd two outs. Full count swing leaves another 2 runners stranded. What should have been 0-0 at the end of the third, Florida capitalizing on our miscues has a 3-0 lead.The 5th, the offense once again failed to come across. Carrier opened the inning by striking out. Pitelli and Villegas come up with back-to-back singles putting runners on 1st and 2nd. This is where they would stay with CJ flying out to center and Burke getting robbed with a leaping catch made by the first baseman. The possible rally ended leaving 2 more on base.
As earlier mentioned, Ligon was spectacular. With the final out in the third to his final out in the 7th, he sent down the next 10 batters before Dominic commits an error which fortunately did not equate into a run and the score would remain 3-0 at the end of seven. 
With Florida’s starter finally off the mound also in the 7th with 102 pitches, Miami had an opportunity to climb back into the game with a lead-off single by Dorian. As the pattern for tonight went for the Canes,  Dorian took up residence at first for the remainder of the inning. 

It wasn’t until the 8th, that the noise returned to the Light with Miami finally getting on the board. A lead-off single by CJ. Burke strikes out. PB advance CJ to second, bringing Yoyo to the plate. Yoyo’s single up the middle brings the decibel level to an all-time high tonight. Another PB puts Yoyo in scoring position at second. With Romero and Perez next in line, each with HR power could have easily tied the game at three. Instead, both go down looking at the 3rd strike.

Time for the Closer, but there is no Closer. Gino took a calculated risk and brought in Andrew in the 7th last night and with 46 pitches took him out of the equation from being utilized tonight. It cost us dearly.

Anthony Arguelles opened the 9th with a walk. He had come in to pitch the 8th giving up no runs. With the initial walk in the 9th, out comes Gino bringing in Matt Raudelunas. Grounder to Dorian at second decides to go for the lead runner. No chance for the DP but Pitelli plays it like a DP. Rather than making sure he touches 2nd fails to do so and all runners are safe. SAC advances the runners to 2nd and 3rd. With the IF in, what would have been an out goes for a single over CJ glove scoring the first of many more to follow. Change of pitchers. Raudelunas out, Alejandro Torres in. Suicide squeeze performed perfectly with the throw home, not in time. Two runs already in. Runners on 1st and 2nd. Junior Kendrick Calilao batting 7th with the team-low average of .207 coming into tonight’s game. 0-3 until Torres first pitch: coffin closer over the left-field fence for his first homer of the year. 

A deflated Miami fateful exited in mass with their heads shaking with hopes and dreams that Jake Garland, a better performing defense, and an offense that will start generating the power button will be able to take the rubber match. If needed Andrew Walters may not have a choice and closeout to salvage a final victory to take the series.

With the ACC Network carrying the game, the time has been moved up to a NOON start.


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