Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

The Sleeping Gianthas awakenedIt took until the third game of the series for the bats to finally explode sending the scoreboard into a frenzy with 22 runs on 23 hits. Eight of the 23 left the park, of which two were Grand Slams. Jack Scanlon can lay claim for a pair that left the park. Everyone in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit with 7 of the 9 with multiple numbers. They batted around on four separate occasions putting up at least 5 runs in each. It was the third inning that had the fans go crazy with 4 HRs clearing the yard; two coming back-to-back. The Offense batted as a whole .500 going 23-46. With RISP they were 7-17 for .412 and had the BL on 7 separate occasions scoring 3 times. To say the offense finally let loose, would be an understatement. It was a day the fans had been waiting for all series and the team delivered. If there was any disappointment, it was the inability to close the game out. It took two pitchers, 40 pitches, and giving up 4 runs to finally seal the deal. 

Changes to the lineup had Gaby Gutierrez in left batting 6th, Jake Kulikowski the DH batting 7th, JD Urso at SS batting 8th, and Jack Scanlon catching batting 9th. Blake Cyr is still out of the lineup and hopefully, he will be back for the Florida series. Unconfirmed word as to Renzo Gonzalez being out for the year with Tommy Johns. This might have occurred when he came in and pitched for a short time and injured himself. During preseason he batted but did not throw the ball playing first. Someone saw him either last night or today with his elbow wrapped. 

Herick Hernandez was charged to take down an overcharged team coming off their biggest win ever and almost taking the initial game of the series. Our performance has been substandard and with the series in doubt, he was giving marching orders to cease and desist and bring them down to earth. He did exactly that giving us 6 solid innings only running into problems in the fifth. Back-to-back singles to lead off the inning followed by his 5th strikeout. Scanlon dropped a foul ball which gave a second chance to the batter grounding out and advancing the runner from second to third. Runners on the corners a single to center scored a run (unearned) because of Scanlon’s drop ball. this would be their only run until the 9th. They would also remain hitless until the 9th inning. JT Caruso had the honors to close and failed to do so allowing their first hit since the 5th, being a 3-run HR that bounced off the top of the fence in left. It was a disappointing finish to what was an amazing display of raw power from the Cane Sluggers

Miami’s scoring got started in the first with a lead-off single by Edgardo who had been in a terrible slump batting below the Mendoza line (.190). Before the day was over he would boost his average to .309 with a 4-hit day. Daniel Cuvet (who should be ACC player of the week) continued his batting streak with an RBI double. Before he was PH for in the 7th he was only missing a triple to complete the cycle homering in the third and singling in the 5th. 

The third would be the first of 4 innings that the Canes would bat around. The third would be the inning long remembered as the HR Derby with the scoreboard being struck twice and a third sparing another hit on the scoreboard by flying over it. Jack Scanlon led off the Derby going the parking lot route and delivering his HR to right. Daniel Cuvet, three batters later with a man of first (single by Edgardo) slams into the scoreboard striking his picture for his 5th HR of the early season. Jason Torres not to be outdone follows with one of his own over the scoreboard; his 4th. Two batters later it was Gaby Gutierrez’s turn to put a dent in the scoreboard on a solo shot. By the inning’s end, the score was 6-1 and they were only starting.

The 4th once again through the lineup. Edgardo led off with a single setting up Lucas Costello with his second homer of the season. Four more runs would cross the plate the final run coming on a BL single off the wall in left-center by JD Urso. At first it appeared it had been caught but dropped when the CF slammed into the wall scoring the 5th run of the inning. By inning’s end 11-1 

In the 5th, for the third time the Miami hitters ran the gamut highlighted by a grand slam by Dorian Gonzalez to left scoring Costello (HP), Cuvet(single), and Torres(single). Scanlon would add to the run total with his 2nd HR of the day this time taking it to left field with one man on board. That upped the score to 17-1 and the bats were still not done.

In the 7th inning, once again the gamut is run. Jake Kulikowski opened with a double that dropped in front of the RF who lost the ball in the sun. Several batters later once again BL set it up For Lorenzo Carrier, PH for Lucas Costello, taking it to LF for the second GS for the day, his second HR of the year. One more run is scored on a throwing error to home scoring Jason Torres who doubled earlier. Miami finally ran out of gas after the 7th with the score at 22-1.

JD went to the BP after 6 innings bringing in Sliade Naturman and Brandon Olivera each pitching one inning and didn’t allow a hit or run. The 9th JT Caruso was brought in to close it out which he failed to do and had to bring in Ashton Crowther making his college debut after missing all of last year recovering from Tommy John. JT ran into problems after getting his first out. HP, W,W to load the bases followed by a SF to center giving the Sharks their first score since the 5th inning. One strike away for the final out Benjamin Fierenzi, batting 9th and entering the game batting .154 delivers his first HR of the season bouncing off the tape in left field and landing on the wrong side for three runs. Hitting the next batter one strike away to end the game was enough for JD to make the call to the BP one last time. Ashton finally got the job done after a WP and walk getting his first strikeout to finally end the game with a final score of 22-5.

The offense was on fire today with everyone in the lineup hitting. Seven with multiple numbers: Edgardo Villegas 4-5, Daniel Cuvet 3-3, Jason Torres 4-6, Dorian Gonzalez 2-4, Jake Kulikowski 2-3, JD Urso 2-4, and Jack Scanlon 2-3. Doubles: Villegas, Carrier, Cavet, Kulikowski. HRs: Costello, Carrier (GS), Cuvet, Torres, Dorian (GS), Scanlon(2).

Herick Hernandez pitched 6 solid innings. As earlier mentioned the only concern was being able to close. Nick Robert has been solid in relief and from his 2 appearances, we might see him as closer since we really have not established one as of yet. Drew Dwyer has been used but his credentials haven’t yet reflected what a closer should be: total shutdown. Andrew Walters spoiled us and everyone is hoping that once his brother rejoins the team by sometime in March he might follow in his brother’s footsteps. Still a question mark and will not come made to order. There will be a gradual return with a limitation on pitches until he can work himself back into the flow of things. 

We ended the series on a high which is exactly what the doctor ordered. We will need to continue to hold the pedal to the metal for Florida Gulf on Wed. and we better be loaded for bear come this weekend when we face the reptilian Florida Gator. They need to be bagged and sent back to Gatorland with a trio of losses attached to their record. Warmup to the main event will be Wed 6PM against the high-flying Eagles of Florida Gulf 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *