Recap: Canes Take Series Opener At Louisville, 6-1

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
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God bless Raymond Gil. Two home runs, 3 RBIs lit the spark  that ignited a hitting frenzy in the last three innings turning a close pitching contest up until then into a runaway rout. Until the 7, Miami pitching was keeping Louisville batters tightly in place only allowing two hits and one run resulting from a wild pitch. Once again, the Miami starter was not able to get beyond the 5th inning and we had to rely on the BP to come to Rosario’s assistance to bail him of the 5th. The BP responded only allowing two hits, striking out 10, without giving up a run. Louisville batters striking out a total of 14 times and batting overall .133 hopefully will be incentive enough to make Jim Patterson Stadium our “Field of Dreams” this weekend.

Only change in the lineup is Gil and Toral switching in the batting order with Alex batting 6th and Raymond 7th. Jordan Lala replaced Gabe and batted 8th. Alejandro Rosario on the mound as the Friday starter. I would have thought Jake Smith would have gotten the call after last week’s performance, but instead will be pitching Saturday. Rosario been struggling not having found his groove from the early part of the season was a different person on the mound tonight, striking out four and allowing for two hits and Louisville only run. Still, not able to get beyond the 5th, but hopefully he is saving it for the Tournament.

Louisville would strike first in the 2nd inning, coming from some indecisiveness on fielding the ball which set the gears in motion for the initial run. Lead off batter started the confusion hitting a slow chop back to the pitcher which CD called off Rosario from fielding and was not able to make the play. I felt Alejandro was in better position to execute the out. The next play was a grounder back to Yoyo who hesitated in his decision to go to second or first and decided on the latter putting a man on second, one out. FO to center, runner at second advanced to third. 2-2 count, ball gets between DC’s leg which he is unable to stop (WP) bringing in the the first run of the game. Unknown to the Cardinals that would be their only score. They would threaten in the 5th with runners on the corners, two out but Spencer Bodanza would end the threat with his first of 4 strikeouts.

Miami through the first three innings looked like they did against the Owls on Tuesday struggling to find a hit. Big Brother would provide the spark in the 4th, when Miami for a moment in time found life in their bats. A one out double from CDC to left center was just the spark they needed to light the fire in what had been another dry spell of Miami hitting. Yoyo would strike out for the second time before Toral goes opposite field for an RBI single to tie the game at one.

As quickly as the fire was lit, it would once again become extinguished until the 7th, when Raymond would torch the fire for good setting up a blaze of hits/runs that left ashes in the wake of Cardinal pitching. Raymond leads off the 7th in dynamic fashion wit a no doubt flyer to CF covering 431 Feet to give Miami the go ahead run and the start of the feeding frenzy coming off the Miami bats. Lala followed Gil with a shot of his own hitting the very top of the RF wall for a triple. Not to be stranded at third, Anthony brought Jordan home on a two out single on an infield hit to second.

Sitting on a two run lead, Miami added another two runs for insurance  with a one out double from Yoyo and Raymond coming up with his second long shot of the evening way over the left field fence bringing the score to 5-1.

Gino not taking any chances for a Louisville comeback brings in THE STOPPER to make it a surety. Thought Gino was wrong taking Bodanza out in the 8th bringing in Federman. Spencer was rock solid striking out 4 and appeared to be totally in the groove. Instead Gino brings in Daniel Federman with a man on first two outs. Daniel always scares me because you never know what to expect. 5 pitch strikeout. With a 4 run lead, felt he should have kept Daniel in and only bring Carson in, saving him for the 9th if necessary. Gino got the known result from Carson with 5 strikeouts for two innings, but how will this affect utilizing him for the remaining two games. We are talking possibly needing him for 4 more innings and whether he will able to run on less than a full tank. Maybe I am underestimating his endurance but  Gino thinks his arm is everlasting.

Miami’s hitting wasn’t done yet. Anthony Vilar would make sure that their would be no chance for any 9th inning antics by the Cardinals with his 5th of the year to RF. With the lead at 6-1 there was no need of keeping Carson in the game. The way the BP has been pitching, there was no way they were going to give up 5 runs, but Gino stuck with Carson to the very end. Hope this does not come back and bite us.

Offensively, it was touch and go until the 7th, when Raymond finally opened the floodgates which didn’t stop until 5 runs on 6 hits were put up on the board. Raymond had a stellar 3-4 evening with a pair of HRs and 3 RBIs. Along with Raymond, Anthony also had an impressive evening also going 3-4 with a solo HR and one RBI. Big Brother started it all with a double in the 4th leading into the first run and Lala’s triple in the 7th for the other extra base hit that eventually led to Miami’s 3rd run. Took Miami a while to get the juices flowing but the spark provided by Raymond was the beginning of a 5 run 6 hit breakout.

Defensively, there were two Kodak moments which could make the Sport Center top 10. Coming off where the bats exploded in the 7th, Tony Jenkins made a showing of his own with diving catch running.  If it got by him definitely would have scored the runner from first narrowing the lead to one and possibly change the course of the game.  The second play came one inning latter with a great catch by Yoyo preventing a two out double down the LF line.

The offense and defense seemed to be fueled by the quality of pitching. When our pitching is on, the rest of the team feed on it like a shark  smelling blood in the water. The BP was sterling tonight  as stated in the opening allowing just two hits without giving up a run and striking out 10. the BP should be at full strength for the remainder of the series in Case Jake Smith needs a little help.

Tonight was a total team effort and coming just at the right time. Two games left to be played and we still need to be strong. Louisville is riding of being swept in their last 2 of 3 series, and hopefully we can accommodate and make it three.

Start time tomorrow 6PM, Jake Smith on the mound.

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