By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
CARDIAC KIDS somehow pulled this off after doing everything possible of letting the Cavaliers take game one of this series. Four times in the first 4 innings they had the BL and came away with nothing to show for it. Alexandro Rosario who struggled last week with the Noles still hadn’t found what made him the ACC pitcher of the week a couple of weeks back. 4 DPs was his best friend in keeping Va off the scoreboard holding them to just 2 runs on 8 hits but not a single strikeout. It would finally take the 6th inning to light the fuse to finally break it open only to see it a 3 run lead as the result of a 5 run rally crumble back to a single digit one inning later. The call to the BP for ace closer Carson Palmquest to shut the door in Palmquest fashion. It took 56 pitches and every magical trick in his repertoire to hold off a charging Va team that had runners on 1st and 2nd, the winning run at the plate with no outs.
No change to the lineup from the FAU win on Tuesday. Miami was hoping for a similar 14 run, 17 hit performance going with a power lineup. This should have been a no brainer, but we are talking about inconsistency when it comes to Miami hitting. Miami through the first 4 inning would only come away with just lead off single by Raymond Gil in the second. Opportunities presented itself and we were unable to take advantage of 8 walks and several WPs in the first 4 innings. As stated earlier, the bases were loaded 3 of the 4 innings and twice in the 4th and show nothing for it. In the 4th, Miami had the bases loaded the first time with no one out. Lala hits into a rare DP 5-2 only to have the 3rd walk of the inning to reload the bases bringing Yoyo to the plate. This was his second opportunity to redeem himself facing a similar situation in the second but like the second, he would swing for the final out.
After going blank twice with BL in the first two innings, Va. would be first on the board in the second with back to back hits (single, RBI double), WP and a one out RBI double to give them the Cavaliers the lead 2-0. Rosario would throw 30 pitches before returning to the dugout from a struggling 2nd.
Next 3 innings pitch count settled down complements of a pitcher’s best friend; the DP. Even not at his best, Alejandro managed to keep the deficit at 2, until the Juggernaut finally kicked in. 10 batters to the plate in the 6th with Gabe giving it a kick start with a one out solo line drive HR over the LF fence. Following Gabe, Pitelli reaches base on throwing error by the SS. Two walks follow to load the bases for the 5th time. For the 3rd time, Yoyo has another opportunity to finally break open the game. Grounder to short, setting up a DP, but beats out the throw to first scoring a run. Runners on the corners, DC walks to load the bases for the 6th time today. Big Brother singles through the middle to score two, bringing Alex to the plate runners on 1st and 2nd 2 outs. Hits a high pop up behind the SS who loses it in the sun scoring DC for the 5th run of the inning and for the first time the lead 5-2.
With already at 80 pitches, Rosario comes out to pitch the 6th and like the three innings before the DP saved his bacon. Virginia would come back with back to back single but Rosario throwing his 97th pitch ended the inning and his day without a single strikeout with a 4-3 groundout.
Anthony Arguelles gets the call from the BP to start the 7th holding onto a 5-2 lead. First two outs routine groundouts 4-3. First pitch to Kyle Teel and the lead is down to two. Zack Gelof 1-2 count hits a high fly to the CF wall which the sun might have played a factor because Tony Jenkins running back to the wall can’t hold onto the ball which would have been a great catch and Zack runs around all the bases for an inside the park HR bringing the score to within one. Enough seen by Gino and out with Arguelles and in with the STOPPER Carson Palmquest.
Did not start all that well with Carson, getting caught with a Catcher’s Interference call, followed by a single. With runners on 1st and 2nd, Carson locks in recording the first strikeout of the day for the Canes which could not come at a better time.
Leading by one, The Canes gets a bit of insurance with a lead off HR by Yoyo. DC hit by pitch (HP) and advances to 2nd on a WP.CDC SAC him over to 3rd, and Alex brings DC home on a FC 4-5. Two runs in, Gil makes it three with a single up the middle and Keyfus running for Toral slides home under the tag extending the lead to 4.
Virginia opens their half of the 8th with a strikeout, followed with a a HR to LC, Carson’s first HR given up this season to bring the Cavaliers to within 3.
With a 3 run lead going into the 9th, Gino decides he was not taking any chances and leaves Carson in, knowing that he might be ineligible to pitch tomorrow or Sunday depending how long the inning goes. Opening walk and HP brings the tying run up to bat. RBI single brings the margin to 2 with no outs with runners on 1st and 2nd. Pitching as if there was no pressure he strikes out the next 3 batters to secure his 6th save of the season.
Inconsistency is the only way to describe Miami’s offense. Today was just another example of the bats streaking. Six times BL and only coming away with one run in their first 4 attempts. The 6th inning, they started clicking on all cylinders but prior to the 6th it was all quiet with just one hit in the second. Two were in multiple numbers: Raymond Gil 2-4 (RBI), Gabe Rivera 2-3 (HR,RBI). Additionally YoYo had an HR with 2RBIs going 1-6.
Stat wise we batted an overall .212 and .154 against LH pitching. 3-13 with RISP. The most glaring stat 1-6 with BL.
Defensively, If it wasn’t for the execution of 4 DPs we might be having a whole different discussion. Neither of the 2 errors resulted in a run. Jenkins losing the ball in the sun and dropping it might have been ruled an error but given an insider HR.
Pitching, not the greatest showing by Rosario allowing 8 hits but only two runs as a result.However,not showing was not a single strikeout recorded. Anthony Arguelles not his best performance in relief lasting .2 innings giving up back to back HRs before being relieved by Carson. Carson got the only strikeouts for the team ,6, and again not his most memorable performance. Definitely, not his usual 3up/3down performance. However, he did end in style.
Tomorrow, it is a 1PM start. Heard over WVUM on postgame that there is concern as to weather for Sunday, so we might be looking at a DH. If so, you can probably not look for Carson to get the call if things start heading south. Let’s think series win and not even be concern about whether we need a life preserver to secure a series win or sweep.