NOTRE DAME: GAME 2

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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The Irish hand the Canes their first ACC series loss 5-2. The second game mirrored the first, with the weather affecting their performance both at bat, in the field, and on the mound. Initially, the Canes showed promising signs, but quickly deteriorated, negatively impacting the game. Miami continued to struggle throughout the game trying to put runners on base. When they did, as in the 5th and 6th only to have the DP end the momentum. Pitching-wise, Rafe while making it through the 6th didn’t show his usual sharpness with his command on the mound. Two hit batters back-to-back after running the count to two strikes to open the Irish first was the exclamation point to add to the poor quality base running at the top of the inning. Indicators of the type of day we had to look forward to. The weather took its toll in the 4th as Rafe’s pitching continued to deteriorate giving up 3 runs on 5 hits. Additionally, a catch normally made by Edgardo getting upended by the wind starts a chain reaction of what was to follow. The lone HR coming in the 5th was the only show of life that Miami could bring to the plate for the remainder of the game. Miami will need some of the Leprechaun’s Lucky Charms to thwart a sweep tomorrow for the Cardiac Cane’s Miami Magic is not working.

What started to be an impressive start quickly turned into ugly. Edgardo opened the game with a walk followed by a Blake single putting runner on 1st and 2nd no outs. That was the impressive start, now for the ugly. A hard drive to right off the wall by Daniel must have caught the runners napping. Cameras were on the ball and not the runners so it is difficult to relate. This was either going to be a HR or a double but neither of the baserunners reacted to the same. Instead, they were playing it like it was going to be caught. Daniel not paying attention to the base runners had made his turn towards second figuring everyone was on the move. Instead, Blake had stopped at second and Edgardo at third. Daniel was hung up between first and second for the easy out 9-3. Rather than having BL at the very least, instead 2nd and 3rd one out. Dorian’s single following this debacle got us 1 run for the inning but what could have been is a different story of what should have been.

The horror of the first only progressing got worse with the Irish’s at bat. As stated in the opening, the first two batters got hit after drawing two strikes. Irish taking advantage laid down a SAC to advance the runners and finish with a SF to left to tie the score at one.

Whether the weather started taking its toll after the first, the Miami bats became silent for the next three innings. They had a hit batter (Daniel) in the 3rd and a single (Torres) to open the 4th along with a walk (Kulikowski) but nothing became of that. 

The cold (37 degrees) finally grabbed hold of Rafe in the 4th. An opening walk followed by three straight hits resulted in two runs. It was the second hit (double), that was the crusher. What should have been caught by Edgardo, the wind tampered with his tracking. He had it and then he didn’t. The chain reaction started from there. Three hits followed and an additional two runs. If not for a 5-3 DP, the Irish would have been on a runaway train. 32 Pitches were thrown for Rafe before that long run back to the dugout. He would remain for 2 more innings, but the damage was done. Irish led 4-1 end of 4.

Miami not being able to find a hit or move the line, found it the only way they know to put runs on the board. Edgardo led off the 5th with a shot to right 362 for the Canes’ only remaining score. A pair of singles followed (Daniel, Dorian) but was scrubbed with a Torres 6-4-3 DP. A hit (Costello) in the 6th but also went by the wayside with a Kulikowski 5-4-3 DP. A two- out single (Torres) in the 8th but that was all the helpless Canes were able to generate.

The Irish added an insurance run in the 8th with back-to-back walks to open the inning followed two batters later with an RBI double to seal the series win.

The offense like yesterday was ineffective in getting runners on and when they did, not able to move the line. Other than Edgardo’s solo HR, there were no extra-base hits. Nine scattered singles which were pretty much meaningless. Four runs in two days. That is a sorry state of affairs. Bottom line: no HRs, no win. Three batters got 2/3 of our hits, the heart of our order: Daniel Cuvet 2-3, Dorian Gonzalez 2-4(RBI), Jason Tores 2-4.

The Irish going for the sweep. Herick Hernandez will make sure this does not happen. Weather will challenge the team for the third time expecting temperature at the 1PM start to be 38 degrees. Need a bit of Irish Luck mixed with a whole lot of Miami Magic.

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