Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
A 2+19 minute rain delay, which started as a lightning stoppage, did not damper the quality of play for the middle of the lineup (Yoyo,the Brothers) as they put on a an explosive show of their own. The three combined going 8-10 and collecting 9 of the 10 runs scored as Canes sweep the Mountaineers in a shortened game due to a 6 PM curfew. Jake Garland started on the mound and pitched just two innings before the lightning brought a stoppage. Miami was in catch up mode in the first inning as App State took an early 2-0 lead. Miami answered in the bottom half of the inning with 4 of their own and would go on for 6 more unanswered runs once play resumed in the second. The only drama to the game was whether they would be able to get the required innings in or for that matter if the game would be even resumed. It was a battle with the clock and the weather.
Only change to the lineup is Perez would be out with DC resuming his duties behind the plate and Chad Born would be making his first start in RF batting 8th. Gil and Toral would flip flop in the order with Raymond batting 6th and Pitelli would slipped to bat 9th. Jake Garland on the mound. Sunday is still a question mark as to our starter and with Mcfarlane and Smith locking in Friday and Saturday Gino is hoping Jake would do the same for Sunday. With two series left, time is running out.
Jake did not get off to a good start with back to back opening singles. putting runners on the corners. The lead off single Yoyo should have had. Liner back to him went off his glove and rolled into the OF. This is a play he would normally make but the scorer thought differently. Bottom line it set up the first score with a SF to left. This was followed with the Mountaineers third hit of the inning putting runners on 1st and 2nd. Fly to right for the second out. Grounder to Yoyo, has problem with the pickup and throw and it gets by Toral (E5) for the second run. Not the start that Gino wanted to see and leaving doubts as to whether Jake is the answer for Sunday or is it back to the drawing board.
Miami did not waste any time answering the unexpected start for the Mountaineers. Back to back walks to open. After Yoyo Ks looking, it was the Brothers putting on a show all by themselves. What DC would do CDC would match him hit for hit. DC doubles, CDC doubles and so forth. DC’s double brings in Jenkins and Vilar and CDC’s double bring in Little Brother. Raymond picking up where he left off with his last night 3-4 outing, singles in CDC for the 4th run of the inning.
Jake settled in more comfortably in the second after that tumultuous first with an 8 pitch second. Gino never got the opportunity as to see if Jake had really turned things around because a lightning delay ended his day and the question still needs answering as to Sunday’s starter. My guess, we will see his name come next Sunday.
Pitelli would start off the second and have the count 0-1 before the ump decides to call a stoppage due to lightning in the area. Once play resumed 2+19 minutes later, Dominic goes down looking as does Tony. With 2 outs, Anthony’s double is the first of 4 hits in a row (Vilar,Yoyo,Brothers) and 2 more runs on the board. At 6-2, the race commences with the clock and making the game official.
Once resuming play it was pitching by committee starting with Victor Mederos. Pitched two innings and after breezing through the third, began to once again started unraveling in the 4th. Opening walk, followed by a double placed runners on 2nd and 3rd. Strikeout then a second walk in the inning to load the bases. Saving grace is an unusual DP. Batter strikes out, which gets by DC. Batter starts running to first on the WP, which is irrelevant because batter is automatically out due to a runner on first. When the runner at third sees the batter start running to first he heads home. The ball which got by DC, he was able to recover and toss it to Victor covering home. The runner from third was so out it was a pathetic sight. Just stood there for the tag waiting for him at home plate.
Miami’s 4th they would add to their 6 unanswered runs with # 7. Two out walk to Yoyo had the Brothers matching each other for the third time today with back to back singles and Big Brother picking up the RBI.
The 5th, Spencer Bodanza turn on the mound. After giving up his first hit of the year last week, two batters see their way with singles of their own. The second single to right coming with two outs. The throw in from right (E9) gets pass 3B and as a result there are now runners on 2nd and 3rd. Bodanza without throwing a pitch to the next at bat, executes the perfect pickoff at second 1-6. which was upheld after review.
Miami’s 5th were the final nails in the coffin solidifying the SWEEP. This would come on Yoyo clearing the bases on a BL double to the LF corner, battling off a 9 pitch full count marathon.
10 unanswered runs. Andrew Walters for the 6th which would be the where the clock strikes Midnight to end the game. Rather than call it at 6PM, Gino conferred with their coach to give us our turn at back to give the bench some swings. Michael Rosario who has been out the entire season had his day in the spotlight in his debut at the plate. Unfortunately the light did not shine. Strikes out on 4 pitches. CJ Kayfus was the only one of the 4 to record a hit. Thomas flew out to center and Lala to left.
Offensively, it was the middle of the order that lit the burner this day. Yoyo, and the Brothers accounted for 9 of the 10 runs and 8 of the 12 hits. They were the only ones in multiple numbers. Yoyo 2-3 (2B,4RBI); DC 3-4 (2B,2RBI); CDC 3-3 (2B,3RBI). Vilar would get the other double today. Alex Toral finally broke out of his slump today after going 0-17 with a slow grounder to the opposite field for an infield hit.
Defensively, Yoyo had a rough 1st inning where he was credited with one error but should have been two based on his ability of playing that position. It cost us two runs as a result. The throw in from right, overthrowing the cutoff was inexperience of Chad Born.
Pitching, hard to give any type of grade due to the weather interruption. It definitely was a bad 1st inning for Jake but he bounced back nicely in the second. How he would have moved forward Gino has to give him the benefit of the doubt and try again next week but on a short leash. He is the only one of the three that can get us beyond 6, although he had a miserable outing against Boston not making it to the 2nd. Victor when he gets in trouble like he did in his second inning pitched, he really struggles. Although the BP did not give up a run they put themselves in tight situations where a good team might not have been as generous of App State was.
Down to the final 2 series and things better start clicking on all cylinders. GT and Louisville are not App State quality of team. Consider this weekend to build one’s average and boost to one’s confidence. If we don’t bring our A Game for both, postseason might depend on it. Almost a guarantee we won’t be hosting unless we sweep or at least take both series and reach the finals in the Tournament. That is only of course my opinion. We just have not done well this season in ACC play losing the last 3 of 4 series. App State provided the fuel. We now need to light the fire.