Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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Miami trying to get back on the right track after being derailed Wednesday night by the Knights of UCF struggled through the first 7 innings. With the Sharks circling the Canes smelling of victory within their sights forgot the life vest being cast in the 8th as Miami exploded for 7 runs avoiding the jaws of defeat and netting a 9-3 victory.

For the second straight week, JD decided to stick with Gage Ziehl and for the second straight week ran into trouble the second time through the lineup. Through the first three innings, he was untouchable needing 29 pitches only giving up a walk. Comes the 4th, and almost doubled his pitch count to 54 pitches giving up three hits and one run. The Sharks were zeroing in on him in the 5th with three long outs at the fence. The Sharks began tasting blood in the water and capitalized in the 6th to take the lead with a 2-run HR which they would hold until the 8th when the Miami bats finally awaken.

Miami continued in their struggles to utilize the hitting potential that flows throughout their lineup. Tonight facing a subsonic fastball that could not even reach 90 and a letup in the mid 60’s, all they were able to do was put up zeros across the board through the first 3 innings. They weren’t hitless, with a pair of singles in the second but had 4 strikeouts to show for their inability to hit snail-speed pitching.

The Canes opened the 4th trailing 1-0, Garrett Yawn continued to terrorize the Miami hitters opening the inning by striking out Lorenzo Carrier. Dorian opened the door with a double to right center bringing to the plate Jason Torres who got the initial hit back in the second. With the wind blowing out, Jason stuck for gold with his third homer of the year going opposite field 356 to right field putting the Canes on top 2-1

The score would remain at 2-1 until the 6th when signs continue to show Gage tiring. A one-out walk followed the third HR he has thrown this season giving the Sharks a 3-2. After the homer by Torres in the 4th, the bats once again couldn’t get the hit needed to tie or retake the lead. Bases loaded in the 5th on 3 walks only having Dorian looking at the 3rd strike. In the 7th a two-out triple by Daniel Cuvet (his first) went for naught With Carrier’s 2nd strikeout for the night.

With backs to the wall facing their second consecutive loss, it was an entirely different team that stepped up to the plate come the 8th inning. For 7 innings they dragged their bats but the 8th but an entirely different look. 10 players to the plate 5 hits, BL three times, capitalizing twice for 3 runs with singles (Jacoby Long, Edgardo Villegas, Lucas Costello), culminating with Daniel Cuvet’s 3rd HR of the season also going the RF route 383′ putting 7 runs on the board to seal the victory 9-3.

With the absence of Blake Cyr from the lineup for the second straight game (family issues), a few changes to the lineup with Dorian at second, Urso at short in place of Jimenez, and Scanlon behind the plate in lieu of Perez. The OF saw the return of Long in center with Villegas moving to left and Carrier as DH. 

Concerning Gage starting, I still feel he is #3 in the pitching chart and would best serve as the Sunday starter rather than Friday. Like last week, he gave us 3 good innings but got chased out the second time through the lineup. Tonight managed to make it through 7, but the 4th and 6th were not quality innings. Against a ranked team like Florida, he may not even get through the first rotation without getting burned. JD more than likely will stick with the present plan and most likely the fans will not like the results if not kept on a short leash. That is my feelings from what I have observed all of the preseason and his first two starts. On the other hand, the BP has exceeded all expectations this season yet to give up a single run. They have looked solid and Jordan Vargas especially so. He is ready for our mid-week starter. Ben Chestnutt is most definitely not, only able to go a couple of innings making him a better choice in middle relief.

Offensively, the numbers don’t reflect how dormant the bats were 7 of the 9 innings going blank on the board. We have to be more consistent and although we batted .324 on 11 hits it all centers around the 8th inning with 5 hits at 11 coming to bat. Three players with multiple numbers: Daniel Cuvet 3-4(triple,HR,3RBIs); Jason Torres 3-4(HR,2RBIs);Jacoby Long  2-3(RBI). Dorian received the lone double of the night

Rafe Schlesinger gets the Saturday night start and I expect a more explosive display of batting as depicted in tonight’s 8th inning. May not be as productive as last Saturday but expect to see a lot more hits/runs on the scoreboard. Showtime 6PM.


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