Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Do you believe in Miracles? There was almost one tonight. Miami could not have gotten off to a worse start with Carson Palmquist giving up 7 runs in the first two innings and three errors costing 3 runs. What should have been a 3 run HR erased on a spectacular catch clearing the fence and brought back into the field of play. At the end of 6 innings down by 8 runs, this game was pretty much written off except the bats were just getting warmed up. 7 unanswered runs by Miami with the Miracle just 90 feet away to tie the game at 12. Carlos Perez the lone Miami batter without a hit stepped up to the plate for a chance to Light the Light.
The lineup through the first 6 remains the same in order: CJ, Jacob, Yoyo, Max, Carlos. The only change to the bottom of the order was Carrier out and Rosario in playing right.. Carson Palmquist, ERA 1.17 on the rubber.
Worst-case scenario, Carson after throwing an opening strike, throws 4 straight balls. Next batter’s first-pitch double to right field. Before shock could set in on what we were seeing, two pitches later a shot over the left-field fence and Miami in the hole 3-0 before the first out recorded.
Down 3-0, CJ leading off on the first pitch almost reduced the margin by one with a bomb to center caught at the wall. The wind was carrying the ball tonight and this was the first of many (5) that Miami missed out on by a matter of feet. Yoyo singles with Max following with an RBI double down the RF line with two outs. Perez walks and Dorian goes to left with an RBI double. Runners on 2nd and 3rd Edgardo Villegas strikes out looking on 3 straight pitches.
Both starters appeared to have control issues and the way contact was being made in the early part of the game had all the appearance of a high-scoring contest. If things for Carson started off Ugly in the first, they got uglier in the second. The RF jinx kicked in. Romero loses the ball in the lights (?), falls and his glove hits the ball as he falls sending it deeper in the OF. By the time Dorian retrieves it, the runner has rounded 3rd on his way home. Close play at the plate ruled safe. This error would prove very costly at the game’s end along with the other errors to follow. Before the groans could settle down, back-to-back singles, and everyone is shocked at what they are seeing from Carson. If this wasn’t enough Carson serves up a second HR within two innings extending the score to 7-2. Obviously can’t take him out because we have no BP to stop the bleeding as having been shown from past experience and we have an entire weekend to consider. Following the HR, more hurt is rendered with a double, and Carson’s 2nd walk before a fly to the LF fence ended the inning. At 45 pitches for 2 innings this is so unlike Carson, “the Closer” who use to be masterful on the mound. Hits, walks, runs were unheard of last season. That was last season. In his new role as a starter, he has not lived up to expectations of being able to get beyond the 5th.
While Carson was having his issues so was Joe Mancini of Boston. Leading 7-2, Dominic puts a small dent in the 5 run deficit hitting the second deck of the parking garage 384 feet to bring the margin to 4. CJ keeps the momentum with a single up the middle and Jacob walking. Max gets the margin down to 3 with an RBI single to left. By the inning’s end, it had taken a total of one hour for the first two innings to be played.
This was becoming a Battle Royale and the Cane’s half of the 3rd almost brought the game to a tie. Both Dorian and Dominic sent shots to the wall in RF only to be caught. The at-bat by CJ had everyone standing on what looked like a 3 run shot over the LF wall only to have the ball brought back in the field of play for the final out.
Time was running out on Carson, as his troubles continued in the 4th. Cameron Leary with already one HR tonight hits his second over the LF fence extending the lead back to 4. Boston definitely had Palmquist’s number with a single following the HR. A picture-perfect DP that should have gone 1-6-3 never got past Dominic as the throw to second from Carson pulls him off the bag (E1). A walk loads the bases. Another attempt for a DP is blown on the relay to first by Dorian (E4) and two more unearned runs adds to Boston’s total. The spread is now 6 and the end to Carson’s worse performance in his college career. Ten runs on 9 hits—three coming from HRs.
Dubberly comes in to pitch the 5th, but like Carson, he could not stop the bleeding. A 2 out single starts putting the motion in gear for the 11th run. The single is followed by a double. Attempting to stretch it into a triple is thrown out (9-6-5) but not before a run scored.
The HRs keep coming with Luke Gold’s second HR to lead off the 6th. The spread is at 8 and Miami has no answer. That is until the 7th when Miami starts making its comeback almost miracle run. Edgardo Villegas gets his First HR of his career with a 400-foot blast over the left-center field wall bringing in Dorian who led off with an inning with a single.
All was quiet in the 8th by both sides and Miami entered the 9th trailing by 6. Dorian opens with a double, followed by Edgardo picking up his 3rd RBI with a single. Third consecutive hit by Rosario, double down the RF line. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, Dominic pops out to 3rd. No advancement. CJ restarts the movement of runners with a 2 RBI double, single by Burke, and a double by Yoyo for the 4th run of the inning and narrowing the margin to 2. Runners 2nd and 3rd and the shift for Max leaving the entire left side of the IF wide open. Anywhere hit to the left side of the IF would tie the score but Max does not have the ability to go other than pull. Rather than stroking the ball to left pulls to right for a SF bringing the Canes to within one. Runner 90 feet away, Carlos Perez has the chance to complete the Biggest Miracle ever. Three straight strikes ends the miracle run and what would have been the biggest comeback ever.
This was a game with all the mistakes that were winnable and should have been except for the errors and the miracle catch in left. We lost this game in the field and on the mound. Offensively 16 hits: 7 doubles (CJ,Yoyo,Max,Dorian(2),Villegas,Rosario) and 2 HRs: (Villegas,Pitelli). Everyone on the team had at least one hit with the exception of Carlos. 5 with Multiple hits: CJ 2-6 (double,2RBI); Yoyo 2-6 (RBI); Max 3-5 (Double,3RBI); Dorian 3-5 (2 doubles,RBI); Egardo 3-4 (HR,3RBI)
Pitching and defense put us in a hole and even with 16 hits, the ineffectiveness of our starter giving up 10 runs and defense with its 3 errors were just too much to overcome.
If we are to take this series we have to pull a Miracle. We can’t afford to continue to play at the level we are at and expect a favorable outcome. It doesn’t get any easier after Boston. We have to take the next 2 games decisively and get back on track.
Karson Ligon has his work cut out for him and the team better be ready. First pitch 7PM.