Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
With the season on the line it was do or die. Alejandro Rosario was not on the mound to to booster the floundering offense who has done nothing since the Louisville series. Only one extra base hit going into today‘s game and only have scored just eight runs in their last four games. The figure that stood out the most was that for the first two games we were only 1-13 with RISP.If we were to get it done today we needed to jump out quickly and for our starter Jake Garland to get us beyond the 5th inning.
The early innings, the Jaguars gave us every opportunity to do just that having bases loaded in the first after 3 consecutive walks (Yoyo, the Brothers) coming with two out and having runners in scoring position in the 2nd and 3rd. We left 7 stranded with nothing to show for it.
The trend in our starting pitchers failing to get the job done continued once again for Jake. Pitching well in the first two innings with 6up/6down, he managed only to get beyond the first batter in the third, before everything around him fell to pieces and Miami saw their season very much in doubt for the final time. Two HRs, a double and a single resulted in an early 4-0 lead and the end of the day for Jake Garland. With the starting pitcher gone, the call to the BP early, with a struggling offense things did not look too bright for the Canes to make a Miracle Comeback.
Daniel Federman came in relief and it looked that he would be the spark to ignite and send a resurgence into an offense who seemed to have lost all their motivation after one missed opportunity after another. In the fifth and sixth, you could feel Federman’s challenge bearing fruit with solo HRs from Yoyo and Toral to bring them within two.
Gino pulled out all the stops after Alex’s HR, by bringing in Jered Thomas to PH for Tony Jenkins. Jered would single and once again another the call to the dugout for slugger Gabe Rivera to PH for Dominic Pitelli in the hope to tie the score with one swing of the bat. Instead all the fiery that Daniel had generated in the dugout was not enough as both Gabe and CJ struck out.
The new founded surge all but went out in the 7th, when Yoyo singled which DC followed with a DP to end the inning and in the 8th the glitter of what little flame that remained was totally extinguished with runners on 1st and 2nd no outs with Alex coming to the plate. With one HR today, did he have it within himself to make it two. First pitch, contact but not nearly enough to carry over the CF wall. Again Gino goes with the knockout punch with Carlos Perez, PH for Lala. Takes it to full count before striking out as well as Jose Izarra on 4 pitches. Doing the math that made the count at 1-20 with RISP for the Regionals.
Now with Carson Palmquest on the mound after striking out two in the 7th, Miami still, even with the bats still in silent mode could only hope with coming back in the 9th with the top of order coming to bat. The Jags were not on the same page in their thought process and cranked it up a few notches in the 8th with a pair of HRs to seal them a berth to play South Florida in the finals. Carson who has been so reliable all season showed that like everyone else it was not meant to be.
Today was the ultimate slap after a long season of disappointments from the entire staff from players to coaches not being able to get the job done. With Florida leaving early,it should have been enough motivation with an wide open door to the Super Regionals. Instead, it can only be summarized as a total team failure in not being able to do what they should have been doing all season long. They did not play like champions and were embarrassed by their ineffective play losing to the number 3 and 4 seed. Today, leaving 11 on base, hitting only .212, but most importantly going 0-8 today with RISP. This was not a team one can hang their hats on for next year. Major changes have to be made to turn what should have been an Omaha bound team as everyone predicted to one of the major disappointments that continued to spiral into a never ending black hole of endless frustration. For the last time this season, RIP the 2021 Miami Hurricanes.