Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Mark Light Magic struck for the second week in a row as the Cardiac Kids celebrated St Patrick’s Day one day early. Dorian Gonzalez in walk-off fashion takes a 1-1 count and finds gold in left-center giving the Canes their second ACC series win against a ranked opponent. Unlike last night, where we overwhelmed the Tar Heels with hit-upon-hit and endless runs, tonight it was all about the long ball. Tar Heel 17-year-old freshman pitcher Jason Decaro owned the Canes for 6 innings allowing 5 to reach base on only 3 hits. In a pitching duel where hits were at a premium on both sides, Rafe kept Carolina scoreless through 3.1 when the rains halted play for 40 minutes. When play resumed with runners on 2nd and 3rd, a grounder to Cuvet was mishandled (E5) resulting in the first run which looked like it would be the decisive run until the 7th. With one out and a 3-0 count to Jason Torres, the green light was on and Jason delivered 414 feet to center to tie the score at one. Miami would commit two more errors following the costly one but fortunately, no runs resulted from these miscues. In the bottom of the 9th, the score tied as 1-1, and the first batter up Dorian Gonzalez. The rest is another chapter in a long list of Mark Light Magic and the Cardiac Canes No Die Mentality. They only batted .250 for the evening and 0-4 with RISP but Dorian’s hit was none bigger, capturing the series in Mark Light fashion

This was a true pitching contest with two quality pitchers in which ineffective defense almost proved to be the difference in the outcome. Against a ranked opponent, any mistake might mean the difference to the game. With an offense having nothing going for them tonight, the weight was on the pitching arm of Rafe Schlesinger. He delivered for 7 innings tossing 109 pitches and only allowing a solitary run which held up until the 7th inning when Jason Torres leveled the scales with his 8th homer of the season. That was only Miami’s 4th hit of the day. Miami taking advantage of a change of pitchers in the 7th followed the HR with a single by Jack Scanlon and a walk to Lucas Costello. A WP advanced both runners placing two in scoring position (2nd,3rd) with one out. Canes stymied in not being able to hit the ball tonight continued the agony with Carrier striking out and Jimenez flying out to center. Opportunity lost and concern based on our lack of hitting whether we will get another opportunity.

Brian Walters came in the 8th holding Carolina to a lone single before turning the ball over to Nick Robert in the 9th to allow the Canes to close it out with another Hollywood ending. The script could not have been written better. Our little leprechaun strolls to the plate and swings his mighty shillelagh reaching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow bridge beyond the left-center wall.

Offensively, not much to talk about since the bats as a whole were silent today. Jason Torres was the only Cane with multiple hits going 2-3 (HR,RBI). Dorian was the only other extra-base hit with the game-winning shot. There were no doubles. This team lives or dies via the Long Ball and tonight was the perfect example: two HRs and five scattered singles.

Winning pitcher Nick Robert, but it was Rafe Schlesinger who got us there and Brian Walter setting it up for Nick to bring it on home. Tomorrow we try to make it a sweep with Herick Hernandez carrying that 4 leaf clover in his back pocket for a bit of Irish luck. First pitch 1PM. 


Leave a Reply

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