Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
SWEEP!! Today’s win locked Miami into the 4th seed in the upcoming Tournament. Once again, it did not come easy. Yesterday, it was the second inning and today the 4th. For the second time, Miami would have to rely on the BP to bail them out as the defense fell on the rails in the latter innings and the offense failed to provide any type of insurance to help out. Neither Carson Palmquest or Spencer Bondanza were available and all eyes turned to Daniel Federman to hold onto a one run lead for almost 2.2 innings. Struggling with control, his dogged determination stayed relentless trying to find the final 2 outs as foul balls kept alluding that third strike as swing after swing could not the find empty air for a called 3rd strike.
Only change to the lineup was Gil and Toral swapping once again with a LH pitcher throwing. Jake Garland on the mound.
Defense today was shaky and unsettling at times as I think the importance of this game might have been weighing in the back of their minds. Routine plays became not so and peaked in the 6th allowing Louisville back into the game and the momentum which was with Miami since the 4th, started moving in the other direction.
Started with the initial play of the game with Pitelli’s rush throw to first sailing over Alex’s head into the dugout. Jake managed woking himself out of this initial jam with runners on the corners with a groundout back to him 1-3.
Defense redeemed itself in the second on a great play by Anthony going to his right and twisting his body on a jumping throw to first to start the second.
After 18 scoreless innings, Louisville finally puts a run on the board to take an early 1-0 lead. The run was set up on a one out hit batter in the 3rd. Line drive down the RF line for a double was enough to bring the runner around from first. Camera coverage did not show whether Alex had any play on the ball since he was holding the runner on first at the time of the hit. This lead would hold up long enough for Miami to come to bat in the 4th.
Miami’s scoring like Louisville was initiated with Anthony leading off getting HP. Back to back singles by Yoyo and DC tied the score at one putting runners on the corners, no outs. CDC strikes out and Gil walks to load the bases bringing Alex to the plate. Hit or miss with Alex, it is miss with strikeout #47 for the season. This leaves it for Jordan Lala to make a difference in the direction the game would take. Bases loaded single to right scoring two giving Miami a 3-1 advantage. They would need every bit of it, because the offense totally shut down; this being their final hit for the remainder of the game. Lala’s hit couldn’t have been more important
Things started getting iffy in the 6th. Jake survived the 5th and turned the rock over to Alex McFarlane to start the 6th. Gino wanted a fresh arm, but Jake looked like he had a lot more in the tank after a 9 pitch 5th inning.
Right away you watched Alex having control issues as he was having difficulty finding the strike zone. Struck out the first batter but reached safely on a WP. After getting their top hitter to pop out to Vilar,struggles with the third batter walking him. JD walks out to the mound and Alex’s day is done and Andrew Walters is brought in. First batter faced was a controversial call which shifted the total direction in the game resulting in bringing Louisville to within one run. With runners on 1st and 2nd, a shallow pop up to right which Anthony makes a snow cone catch and in the transfer of the ball to his other hand boggles it dropping the transfer. Ruled out initially, but review ruled he never had possession.It appeared those reviewing the play were the only ones who thought so. To me and the broadcasters we were surprised in the reverse call. The question raised is a snow cone catch considered possession. The batter was awarded first loading the bases. Next play should had settled everything with a 6-4-3 DP but Pitelli also has transfer issues in transferring the ball from glove to throwing hand and only manages a 6-4 FC and Louisville gets run #2 closing to within 1.Runners on the corners, Walters finally diffuses the situation with a strikeout.
After facing one batter in the 7th, Gino turns to Daniel Federman, not having Carson available to hold things together. You heard my concerns with Daniel all season. Which Daniel will we be seeing. Pumped to the maximum, you see a man pumped high on adrenaline. First pitch is a ball followed by a HP. Advances to second on a balk and you can see the wheels turning as Daniel is really agitated with the call. JD did not come out to settled him down which Daniel with long experience on the moud did so himself, quickly working through the next two batters.
Daniel still having control issues, but Gino staying with him facing off against their #1 hitter to lead off the 8th. Federman loses the faceoff with a single to left. A pinch runner steals second and on a bad throw by DC, runner advances to third. Chance to tie the game, runner at third elected to hold after a FO to right. The throw in was not even close and the game could have and should have been tied at 3. One pitch later,inning over.
The 9th was max endurance of fouled off balls. Twice, Daniel was within one strike of the final out but it eluded him first with a single but finally won the battle managing with a FO to left getting his first hard earned save of the season.
Another pitching battle from both sides. Miami’s offense, other than the 4th inning where they got all of their 3 hits and runs was not to be found. They can’t expect to go anywhere in the Tournament and post season relying on pitching alone. The bats have start to be a participant or the season will come to a disappointing end. Today’s win locked them in to the 4th seed. FSU and Duke will be in the pool. Below is the pooling for the Tournament.
Miami ends on a high note, but there is a lot more baseball to be played.