Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
With the start of the regular season just a little more than a week away, the concern is whether the pitching with the emphasis on the BP be ready. Tonight, the BP shined with the offensive bats struggling to find a hit. In the 5-inning scrimmage, the BP only allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, 4 hits coming off the bats of Edgardo Villegas and Dorian Gonzalez (2 apiece). Only three other players (Gaby Gutierrez,JD URsa,Luca Reyes) managed to come away with a hit. That left 11 players without a hit combined with 12 strikeouts made for one impressive day for the BP. The other main concern has been the inability of either of our catchers being able to throw a strike to second base. They too were unstoppable with their accuracy: three attempts, three outs. This was the good news to come out of tonight’s scrimmage. The bad news is that this is not the time for our offensive punch to stagnate.
The BP tonight had 6 showcasing themselves very effectively against an offense that has pretty much had their way the entire preseason. Myles Caba and Brandon Olivera opened the festivities throwing a pair of innings. Of the 6 pitchers tonight, Myles had the best outing with 5 Ks. Only relinquished a solitary walk in the second to Daniel Cuvet. A very impressive showing and I won’t be surprised that if he continues at this pace, before the end of the season, you might be seeing his name as a mid-week starter.
Brandon Olivera also pitched two innings and relinquished a run through no fault of his own. The run came in the second inning following a strikeout by JD Ursa. Dorian Gonzalez hit a low-line drive to center. Edgardo playing center, tried to make a diving catch which got under his glove and rolled forever into the outfield getting Dorian to third before the ball made it back into the infield. A speedy runner, like Jacoby Long, might have made it around the bases for an inside-the-park HR. Luca Reyes following Dorian singled him home for the initial run.
That was all the excitement for the offense until the top of the 4th when they were able to do something at the plate. Julian Hernandez, whom I haven’t seen, and Ashton Crowther were tonight’s second set of pitchers. Julian started his tour of duty striking out Carrier looking and it continued to look like our hitters were just not seeing the ball tonight. The sure way to reach base tonight was to get hit by the ball which is exactly what Lucas Costello did following Carrier. Lucas made it to second on a WP and advanced to 3rd with a FO to right by Eric Fernandez. With the opportunity to score, Lucas Did what so many do without seeing where the ball is hit. Daniel Cuvet hits a hard grounder to third and Lucas is off and running towards home at the crack of the bat. Needless to say, he never made it halfway home before being cut down 5-2. I don’t know if this is what our players are told to do on any grounder or if it is left for the runner to decide or if the word is coming from the 3rd base coach.
The offense finally showed a bit of life in the top half of the 4th with Ashton Crowther on the mound. Gaby opened the inning with a walk. JD Urso collects a one-out bloop single over the head of the 1st baseman. Runners on 1st and 2nd, Dorian gets his second extra-base hit with a liner down the RF line scoring Gaby and JD. The throw was to home. Dorian seeing this, attempts to go to third but gets caught short of the bag 9-2-5. Another incident where the throw from home was right on the mark.
Final inning JT Caruso and Drew Dwyer. The only mentionable for JT’s inning on the mound was following the one-out walk to Lucas Costello. Another bad decision by Lucas on the bases. Two innings prior got caught trying for home. This time Drew caught him flat-footed and and picked him off 1-3-6. As a senior, he should know better.
Gaby made it around the bases in the 5th at the expense of Drew’s wildness and Jack Scanlon not being able to hold onto the ball. Gaby made it to 1st on a one-out single, advancing to second on a WP, then to 3rd on a PB and trotted home on another WP from Drew. Of the 6 pitchers tonight, Drew brought in the least desirable performance with 2 walks, a single, 2 WPs, and an unearned run.
Hitting tonight was nothing to write home about with just 7 hits. Only two players with multiple hits. Edgardo Villegas 2-2 and Dorian Gonzalez 2-2 ( triple,double,2RBIs). Three hits scattered among the rest.
The one thing coming away from tonight’s scrimmage was a show of life from our BP. They put on a very good show specifically Myles Caba who jumped to the top of the charts and will be deserving a very close look to taking that next big jump to a starting role at a future date.
Friday will be the final scrimmage, at 315PM, before the Alumni Game on Saturday at 6PM.