By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Jackie Gleason will be long remembered for his line “How Sweet It Is”. So it was for the Miami Hurricanes in SWEEPING Duke in today’s finale 7-1. Not since 2015 has Miami taken 3 from the Blue Devils. They did so convincingly behind the strong pitching performance of Jordan Dubberly taking it through 5, Anthony Arguelles for two and the STOPPER once again putting the exclamation point with save # 9, striking out 5 to bring out the broom. After, last night hitting barrage of 19 hits, the fireworks didn’t get started until the 5th inning with the LONG ball taking the game front and center. Yoyo breaks the tie with a 2 run blazer to the right of the scoreboard to gives us the lead after Duke scored in the top half of the inning for the first score of the game. The 8th added 4 more runs to ensure the victory and the SWEEP.
In the only change to the lineup was the return of Gabe after missing last night game due to illness. He batted 9th replacing Frank in RF. Jordan Dubberly getting his second Sunday start looking for win #1.
Following in Victor’s path from Saturday night, it was smooth sailing in windy conditions needing only 51 pitches through 4. For both sides, it had come down to a pitching duel. Jordan had 6 strikeouts to his credit with no one getting beyond 2nd base. We weren’t doing much better. We did have something going in the 3rd with runners on 2nd and 3rd two outs. Anthony looking at a 3rd strike ended the opportunity brought about on Lala reaching first on an E1.
Things changed for both sides in the 5th with each team putting runs on the board. Like Victor, Jordan had similar issues trying to make it through the 5th. Opened the inning with a double to center which lack the responsiveness of CDC fielding the ball and the runner taking advantage of turned a single into a double. Two outs later,we would pay for it with the second double of the inning to give the Blue Devils their first lead of series 1-0.
Miami rallies in the bottom half of the inning with Pitelli leading off with a walk followed by Gabe getting HP. PB advanced both runners one base. Vilar ties the game at 1 with a ground out 4-3 bringing in Pitelli. Yoyo after a bad call last night by the 3rd base umpire on a ball that was clearly fair but ruled foul, left nothing to question. Taking a 1-0 count drives the ball right of the scoreboard in left center with the tie breaker. Gives Miami the lead 3-1.
Jordan like Victor survived the 5th to return in the 6th, only to get relieved after walking the first 2 batters. Gino goes with his go-to out of the BP Anthony Arguelles. Gets two outs before hitting a batter to load the bases. Escapes the inning with a strikeout which ended the last threat for the Duke Blue Devils
With the score 3-1 going into the 8th, Gino once again turns to the show stopper Carson Palmquest. In Palmquest style, strikes out the three batters faced in the 8th. To give Carson a bit more insurance going into the 9th, the bats finally explode with an additional 4 runs. Canes lead off with 3 consecutive hits from Vilar,Yoyo, and DC. With runners on the corners, DC singles in the first run. Big Brother with runners on the corner hits into what should have been a perfect 4-6-3 DP, instead the ball is muffed by the 2B and only able to get a 4-3 put out enabling the second run to score. CJ Kayfus who had come in defensively for Toral in the top half of the inning, doubles in the third run and finally with two outs and CJ on second Pitelli finishes the scoring with a RBI single.
Now, with a 6 run lead Carson makes easy work for himself striking out two, but not before giving up his seventh hit of the season. Three straight strikes on the final bater to lock in the SWEEP and earn him his 9th save which leads the nation in this category. Final score 7-1
Offensively, not an outpouring of hits with only 8 compared to 19 from last night, but unlike last night two were for extra bases; an RBI double by Toral and a 2RBI HR by Yoyo. Only two players with multiple numbers:Yoyo 2-4 (HR,2RBI) and DC 2-4 (RBI). Overall hitting dropped off to .250 after Saturday’s .442 season high. With RISP .286 compared to .500 last night. Overall,it was a weekend where the offense appears to be finding themselves getting ready for the second half of the season.
The defense again put in an error free game having only one for the entire weekend. The team seems to be clicking coming in time for the toughest part of their ACCs schedule
Pitching has been solid. With Rosario temporarily sidelined (hopefully) Daniel has stepped up and put in a commendable performance Friday night. One’s pain is another’s gain. Alejandro injury provided a second chance for Daniel and has definitely taken the opportunity. In the coming weeks it is going to be all important in having a strong/reliable arm from Daniel either starting or coming in relief. Expect to see the return of Ben Wanger by the end of the month recovering from elbow surgery, not TJ. This should give us an even stronger BP. With Jake taking the reins during mid week we appear to be in great shape to meet all oncomers in the 2nd half of the season.
We return to action Wednesday night for a 7PM start against cross town rival FIU in round two of the Battle of the 305.