By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Round one in the battle of the 305 goes decisively to the Hurricanes. They dominated over the Panthers by blowing them out of Ricardo Silva Stadium by a score of 21-1. The Panthers sent in 8 pitchers attempting to try to stop the flooding of runs that the Canes were delivering at an unprecedented rate. Scoring in every inning except for the second and eighth, the Miami batters were venting their frustrations out on a hapless Panther pitching staff batting out 19 hits still trying to recover from the sting of Florida State. Tonight they did so in style where everyone in the starting rotation got at least one hit with 5 of the 9 recording multiple hits. Small ball took a back seat tonight where the bats were sizzling, belting out 6 doubles, one triple, and a pair of HRs. It was not only the bats that were singing but Jake Garland and the BP were in total harmony allowing only a single run cross the plate the entire evening.Tonight, the sting from the Noles has been revenged at the expense of the Panthers. Not since 2019 has the Canes scored over 20 runs and the most since June 1, 2015 when they put up 21 runs against Columbia
Mid week starting rotation change: Perez behind the plate and DC as the DH.No other changes to the lineup. Gabe who has been a house on fire and moved up to the 7th position, followed by Pitelli and Perez. Before the night was over everyone would see action tonight with the exception of Gil and Espinal. The reserves would contribute 4 of the 19 hits.
Things started very quickly tonight with lead off hitter Jordan taking a 1-1 count and driving the ball just inside the LF pole to put the Canes in the lead 1-0. It appeared that they were slipping into old habits in the 2nd when they had BL and came out empty with a Lala strikeout. In between innings they must have dumped the kool aid as it was full throttle ahead and did not letup on the accelerator scoring in every inning with the exception of the 8th.
They exploded in the 3rd, 9 players coming to the plate putting 5 runs on the board with 5 straight hits starting with Vilar opening with a single, followed by back to back doubles by, Yoyo(RBI),DC(RBI), Big Brother with a single (RBI) and Toral ending it with a double (RBI) of his own before the first out is recorded by Gabe with a strikeout. Pitelli would finish the scoring with the 4th double (RBI) of the inning.
Miami would tack two more on in the 4th with a triple off the RF wall by Yoyo scoring Vilar who opened the inning getting HP. A throwing error by the second baseman to 3rd in an attempt to throw out Yoyo would face a similar fate that the canes experienced over the weekend of having the ball go into the dugout and Yoyo was awarded home
At 8-0, things were only getting started for the Canes. the 5th saw an outpouring of of runs with 11 batters coming to the plate and bringing home an additional 6 runs. Gabe would open the festivities with a leadoff HR to center and highlighted by Yoyo with BL reaching base on an E6 scoring two and Alex Toral with BL singled scoring two. The other run to crossed the plate was DC on a PB.
The 6th did not see any letting up as the foot remained on the accelerator and just lifting off slightly with 4 more runs added to the total of 14 to bring it up to 18-0. For the 3rd time the Canes would bat around with DC highlighting the inning with a BL clearing double. Gabe would add one more run with an RBI single.
Thing would slow down in the 7th with just a single run with a Jared Thomas walking with BL and really slow down coming away with nothing in the 8th striking out twice (Pitelli, Perez) for their efforts.
After 6 scoreless innings FIU finally came up with a run on a SF8 to avoid a shutout.
Miami would get on the board twice more in the 9th with a pair of singles by Tony Jenkins and Chad Born for runs 20 and 21.
Tonight was an awesome display of raw power. Someone must have been listening to me when I said small ball don’t win games. Tonight, the Canes executed this theory flawlessly with 9 hits coming from something other than a single. This is reflected in their overall hitting dramatically showing a mark increase in batting (.388 overall) and .357 with RISP. Against LH pitching not so great batting only .250. Getting the lead off batter on successfully for 7 of the 9 innings makes a world of difference in productivity. The only negative in tonight’s offensive breakout was only able to take advantage twice in the eight times we had BL. Still, overall it was one hell of the night with the bat. Six players with multiple hits: Anthony Vilar 2-3; Yoyo 2-5(double,triple,2RBI); DC 2-4 (2doubles,4RBI); Toral 2-4(double,3RBI);Gabe 2-3(HR,RBI); Pitelli 2-7(double,RBI). Additionally with an extra base hit: Perez 1-4 (double); Lala 1-4 (HR,RBI). That makes for one impressive evening.
Defense, what can you say. The scoreboard says it all: ZERO in miscues. This was highlighted with a web gem special which should make the top ten by Jose Izarra coming in the final inning by making a diving grab and throwing out David Judge 5-3.
Pitching, Jake Garland picks up his 4th win needing only 69 pitches through 6 innings. Not a single walk issued nor a run. Control was the order of business from the BP. MacFarlane gave up the sole run while Walters and Regalado registered not a hit or walk for their inning pitched. The way Jake was pitching tonight, probably could have easily finished. the BP is fully rested for the weekend against Duke which will be the next ACC challenge who will be looking to rebound after dropping two to GT this past weekend.
Tonight, it doesn’t get much better than this. This should give them the confidence they have been looking for the entire season. They have not lived up to their potential, but tonight it was above and beyond. FIU returns to the Light next Wednesday for round two in the Battle of the 305. They will be looking to even the score and we will be wanting to show that this was not a fluke and we should be a force to be reckoned with in the weeks to come.