Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
The Annual Fall Classic kicked off today with Green taking the first game in decisive fashion behind strong pitching from Nick Robert backed up by JT Caruso as Orange cruised to a 7-4 victory. Orange showed a bit of life in the 5th with their only scoring when they momentarily took the lead on a grand slam HR only to falter with Green coming back with 4 unanswered runs to take the first of three in the Fall Classic.
The big question mark all preseason has been the lack of pitching and whether we could come up with three quality pitchers for the weekend rotation. We may have found today one to fill that void in the name of Nick Robert, a freshman from Stuart, fl. He was masterful on the mound pitching four shutout innings striking out 5 and only allowing one hit. The only other base runner was via a walk coming in his final inning. Nick has been the one shining light all through preseason and at the least should earned his way to mid-week rotation. He dominated over our strongest hitters and cruised through the four innings pitched. He by far had the best performance of the day.
Nick’s opposite number for Orange was Jordan Vargas who struggled in his mid-innings giving up a pair of runs in the second, and not completing the third leaving the BL. Jordan like Nick got off to a similar start allowing a hit, but that is where all the similarity ended. Like everything else, bad things happen when the inning starts off with an error. Grounder to third (Cuvet) by Lucas Costello set the wheels in motion. Following a Luca Reyes strikeout, Antonio Jimenez is hit, followed by back-to-back hits by Jack Scanlon (RBI) and Eric Fernandez(RBI) giving Green a 2-0 lead. The third did not show any let-up by Team Green. Jordan managed to get the initial out, then disaster struck with a pair of singles by Lorenzo Carrier and Renzo Gonzalez. Good fortunes followed with Renzo getting picked off at first (2-3) leaving first base open. That was quickly filled with back-to-back walks to load the bases which is where the inning was called. Did not have the opportunity to see whether he would have been able to leave the BL with the final out or enable more runs added to Green’s already 2 runs.
At the midway point (4 innings) Green led 2-0. The next set of pitchers:
for Green JT Caruso and for Orange Chris Diaz. Both freshman. Top of the 5th, Green added to their 2-0 lead on a throwing error by catcher AJ Goytia on an attempted steal by Dorian Gonzalez into 3rd. Dorian came home on the overthrow giving Green a 3-0 lead.
After 4 innings of draught, Orange finally broke through Green’s pitching after struggling through 4 innings with Nick Robert on the hill. With the change of pitchers, JT Caruso, Orange’s bats showed a bit of life which would only be a flicker of time. Carlos Perez would start off the inning getting hit followed by a Gaby Gutierrez single. With runners on 1st and 2nd AJ Goytia strikes out followed by Cruz Munija walking to load the bases. Back to the top of the order with BL and Edgardo Villegas stepping up to the plate. One of our better hitters but not today. Called on an infield fly rule with a fly out to short. Two outs and Mr Hollywood (Blake Cyr) stepping up to the plate. Already with one hit for the day, adds to it with the biggest hit of the day, a GRAND SALAMI, to left. From a 3-0 deficit, Orange takes the lead 4-3. This would be the only happiness Orange would experience for the rest of the day,
Green came right back in the 6th, with an RBI single by Jacoby Long to tie the score at 4. Runners were on the corners on a single by Reyes to open the inning, advancing to second on an E1(APO) and advancing to 3rd on a ground out by Scanlon to 1st. Eric Fernandez walks, to set it up for Long with runners on the corners.
After a scoreless 7th, Green puts the icing on their one-run lead with a convincing 3-run outburst compliments of Jacoby Long. Reyes opened the top of the 8th with a walk. A grounder to Cyr (SS), Blake exhibited what he showed all of last year and nothing changed over the summer. He has no throwing arm and Jimenez beats out the throw which should have been a routine out. Blake is a great hitter, but his fielding has been and will continue to be an issue this season. He is competing with Dorian Gonzalez for second base and should not even be in consideration for shortstop. Runners on 1st and 2nd, Scanlon hits a hard grounder to first and Torres throws a bullet to second to start the DP but Cyr taking the throw not able to complete the 3-6-3 DP. Just another example as to why he should not be considered for the position. Definitely not of a Dominic Pitelli caliber. With runners on the corners a SF8 by Eric Fernandez, Green retakes the lead setting it up for Jacoby Long to go LONG off the scoreboard giving Green a 7-4 lead. Dorian next to bat and singles ending the inning with 2 outs in the book.
JT closes game 1 with back-to-back strikeouts to Carlos Perez and Gaby Gutierrez. Green made a positive statement today with strong pitching and better overall hitting. Orange will be looking to even the series on Friday.
Offensively, the bats for Team Green did most of the talking with 10 hits compared to 4 hits from Team Orange. Jacoby Long’s bat was the most productive today batting 3-4 to include the HR to seal it for Green. Dorian Gonzalez had a multiple-hit day for Green 2-4. The only player from Orange with multiple hits was Blake Cyr 2-3 (GS HR)
A fun day with a lot of cheering from both dugouts as the preseason is winding down to one final week leading up to Scout Day next Saturday. Friday’s game is set for 3PM.