Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Stunned is the only term to describe the reaction from the 2653 fans watching the Canes get handed their second loss of the season as the Sharks of LIU turn the tables from last night. They collected 3 runs in the final two innings to even the series at one apiece. One week ago, LIU against our cross-town rivals, FIU, who had no mercy on this same team dominating 45-15 over their 3-game series. They came into our series batting .169 with an ERA of 18.90. One would assume that after our loss to UCF on Wednesday this was the type of series needed to get us directed in the right direction. Through the first two games, it has been anything but. Our hitting has been marginal at best only able to collect 7 scattered hits, not being able to string consecutive hits when needed, and the BP failing after nine scoreless innings giving up 3 runs in the final innings. A Pitching duel this should not have been, but that was exactly what we got; for the second night in a row.

Starter Dominic Pieto after being blown out last week after just 2 innings and giving up 10 runs settled it nicely striking out our initial two batters in quick order. It appeared the handwriting was on the wall it was going to be one of those nights where hitting was going to be a challenge. Daniel Cuvet put that thought on momentary hold going the opposite field, 391 feet, hitting the second deck of the parking garage to give Miami a 1-0 lead. Pieto was not going to have a repeat performance of last week and kept the Canes scoreless for the next three innings only allowing one player to reach base via a walk.

Rafe starting for the Canes tonight, struggled a bit not dominating the mound as he did last week. His numbers were pretty much similar from last week giving up a run on 5 hits, striking out 9. Tonight the same in-run production, one,  with 6 hits and 7 strikeouts but he just didn’t seem as sharp only having a quick inning in the 5th throwing 8 pitches. Overall, still looked very good. Having runners in each of the first three innings, the 4th started similarsimilarly, opening with a double. A possible cross in signals, Rafe attempted a P/O of the runner at second sending the ball into center field scoring the runner at second to tie the score at 1.

Miami answered in the 5th with their only back-to-back hits of the evening to regain the lead. Dorian opened the inning with a single and reached second on an E9 setting it up for Jason Torres with an RBI single to right. This would be the last productivity that the Canes would see for the night. They would manage to collect three more hits the rest of the game( 6th,8th,9th).

Nick Robert came in relief in the 7th holding on to a 2-1 lead. He was on a roll having thrown a 3up/3down 7th needing 11 pitches to retire the side. He returned in the 8th and only faced one batter before JD decided to get cute and decided to switch pitchers for matchup purposes. Decided on Chris Scinta who other than Chestnutt has the worst ERA on the pitching staff. He was  inconsistent during the preseason and would be the last choice I would want to go within a close game. JD wanted a lefty-lefty matchup which got the out but then faced a Right-hand hitter, Jake Mastillo, who took the 2nd pitch and drove it over the left-center field wall to tie the score at two. JD’s thinking is so old school following in the steps of DiMare and getting burned for it. Robert was killing it on the mound so why mess with it and with a pitcher who has struggled since last season and all of preseason?

Switching gears JD brings in the Closer, Drew Dwyer, to pitch the 9th.  The first batter faced Noah Sorensen 0-10 batting .000. Second pitch, Noah recorded his first hit in his college career and his biggest taking it the distance over the left field fence to give the Sharks a 3-2. A walk, SAC, WP with a man now on third a SF to right was the insurance run they were looking for to give them a 4-2 lead.

Trailing by two, Dorian opened with a single, advancing to second on a WP no-outs. Jason Torres looking to tie the score with his 4th HR of the season or a hit to get us to within one. The Sharks were not going to let this get away like last night denying not only Torres but Perez and Jimenez to land an unthinkable victory 4-2 and handing the Canes their second loss of the year.

Offensively, there is nothing to tell. Our bats were just silent only managing 7 scattered hits for an overall batting of .226. With runners in scoring position 1-8.  Dorian was the only batter with multiple hits 2-4. n

No hits for extra bases and a night off for HRs except for Daniel Cuvet; his 4th. This has not been the series everyone was expecting and next week the quality of pitching is going to be mega-times better. If we can’t hit against a team like LIU how do we expect to be competitive against Florida

Pitching-wise, a crack in what was a perfect season from our BP. Concern should be given on who should be our closer after tonight. Dwyer’s ERA shot up to 7.71 giving up 2 runs in the 9th and a bit wild. Looking at tonight, might want to turn the ball over to Robert who appeared more assured on the mound.

Tomorrow rather than looking at a sweep, we will be fighting to regain last week’s momentum and take the series with a decisive win. The bats have to start getting back into sync if we are going to be competitive against the Gators or even Florida Gulf who will face off on Wednesday. First pitch tomorrow at 1PM


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