Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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It is Charlotte bound thanks to another quality performance from Gage Ziehl and “CLOSER” Myles Caba slamming the door shut with 6 straight strikeouts to earn the 11th seat berth come next week. It was the perfect storm and all the stars were aligned in Boston losing to Clemson and ND dropping two to Louisville to ensure our season continues for one more week. Miami with its 18th come-from-behind victory in the 7th with 3 runs to lock in the coveted spot and a chance to compete to go beyond, by winning it all.

It was a pitcher’s battle through the first 4 innings as neither side was able to bring a run across the plate. Miami had their chance in the second with runners on the corners one out but Carrier striking out and Costello flying out to center kept the game scoreless.

Neither side was hitting through 4 and Miami’s dugout appeared lifeless with zero energy coming from its players. Miami finally broke through in the 5th with a pair of walks and a single by Jacoby to load the bases with 2 outs. Edgardo brings across the first run via an 8-pitch walk. The bases still loaded and a chance for Daniel Cuvet who leads in all categories with hits, runs, RBIs, and HRs to let loose with #21. I forgot to mention he also leads the team in strikeouts adding #57 to his total (his second of the night) which would not be his last. 

Gage had been pitching brilliantly through 5 with only 57 pitches and not having given up a walk. That and control would all change in the 6th requiring 33 pitches to retire the side but not before the Panthers took over the lead with a 3 spot on the board. The first out came easy with a pop out to Urso at short. After that things started unraveling relinquishing with his first walk, WP, and a questionable single that Perez tried to backhand and the ball got past his misplaced glove. Runners on the corners Gage throws is second WP tying the score at one. An RBI double and RBI single followed before Gage managed to get the 7th batter to the plate to strike out. End of 6, the Panthers led 3-1 and what little life seemed to be coming from the dugout became like a morgue.

This all changed in the 7th with Gage redeeming himself with a pair of strikeouts and a spectacular catch from Edgardo in left that had double written all over it. Life had returned to the dugout as the Canes batted around starting with Lucas’s one-out double and JD Urso striking the scoreboard with his third-round tripper of the season to tie the score at 3. The HR also awoke the sleeping fans who had been watching another game getting away from them. With the bases cleared, back-to-back walks to Long and Villegas. Another opportunity for our star player ( Daniel), to put an asterisk on his numbers instead strikes out for the third time earning him the coveted hat trick. Dorian would walk to load the bases and Carlos sacrificed his body, getting hit for the Cane’s third run and the lead 4-3.

With 107 pitches, The Bulldog’s day was at the end and JD brought in our best from the BP, Myles Caba to seal the victory. Caba has been a prayer answered as we have finally found someone who is a real Closer. Myles does quick work fanning 3 in quick order stirring the fans with visions of Charlotte getting closer to a reality. The offense gives Myles a cushion with an insurance run in the 8th generated on a failed DP 6-4-3 on a grounder to short by Jacoby and the relay to first get by the first baseman (E4) scoring Costello who singled earlier.

Myles with a 2 run lead and pitching with all the confidence in the world picked up where he left off in the 8th striking out the bottom of their order in 19 pitches securing Miami’s spot in the Big Dance in Charlotte.

Offensively, if not for the JD’s HR, we would be looking at extra innings. This is a team that can’t link hits together only able to go 2-9 with RISP, and striking out 11 times at the most inappropriate times. Pitt gave up 9 free passes which made up for our lack of hitting. Two players with multiple numbers: Jacoby Long 2-4 and Lucas Costello 2-4 (double). Edgardo Villegas (double) and JD Urso (HR,2RBIs) only other players with an extra base hit.

Pitching, you could not have had a better combination of Ziehl and Caba. The BP was not used and we will probably be “Pitching by Committee” for the remainder of the series trying to save all arms for next week. It will take winning it all if we don’t want to see the season end next week. We should be thankful for getting this far, but we want more and the team is now hungry to do just that. 

Tomorrow is senior night honoring those that will be leaving us which will commence at 630 with the first pitch at 7PM


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