Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Literally and figuratively, the black cloud that has been following the Canes this season downpoured upon them (1:22 rain delay) tonight as they battled through another evening on non productive baseball. From the opening inning, you could see the handwriting on the wall as Jake Smith struggled after recording an initial strikeout followed by a single and two consecutive walks to load the bases. A SF to right was to be the first of ten runs to follow over the course of the game. After a 24 pitch inning, there was no doubt that Jake would never get past the 5th inning which has been our barrier all season. True to form, he would not survive the 4th and neither would the team as the Bulls put up 5 runs, two coming with BL in a torrential downpour which would finally delayed the inevitable. When the rains finally stopped, the Bulls would put on the board 7 unanswered runs before we would be able to respond in the 7th with a SF but only managed 4 hits once play resumed. The BP was not able to stop these hard charging Bulls as they hit and scored relentlessly putting up double digits in hits and runs.
Tonight, Miami’s pitching could not save an offense that never seems to come to play and who relies totally on the BP to bail them out of their non-productivity. The only spark they showed tonight was in the 2nd and 7th innings where our only runs were scored. In the second, three hits by CDC, Toral and Jenkins tied the score at one, but this would be the only sign of life until the 7th when Yoyo hit a SF to center to narrow the margin to 6 runs. The end came in the 4th inning seeing the withdrawal of our starter after getting pounded with three hits, a walk and two runs. Andrew Walters relieved him only to give up an initial walk to load the bases. With the rains coming down in almost zero visibility, surprisingly the game played on. It wasn’t until the following batter hit a high fly to center with Tony not being able to see the ball through the rain that play stopped. Unfortunately, it cost two additional runs as the ball dropped with no one around. Gino was outrage with the indecision to halt play, but the damage was done. After play resumed, the offense could not respond and the BP was ineffective in holding back a hard charging runaway Bull. We utilized 6 pitchers tonight but each one had their issues as did our offense only able to hit an overall .229 and were 1-9 with RISP. Two runs total on the board in another non-productive evening.
Our backs are very much against the wall having to win the next three games to move on. We play South Alabama at noon who is coming off a 19-1 victory over Florida and if we can get by them, approximately 3 hours later, play a very rested South Florida team. Whether the meltdown comes sometime tomorrow or we manage to live to fight another day, we will get a third bite of the apple against South Florida on Monday to determine who moves on. As Gino stated after the game we have dug ourselves into this hole and now they have to find their way out.