Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Miami sparked by the return of Brian Walters and Blake “Hollywood” Cyr rallies back to take a depleted Skyhawks BP late in the game to snatch a victory from what seemed to be the third midweek loss of the season. Stonehill is in their second year as a division one team was more than a match for the Canes as they overwhelmed Miami scoring each of the first five innings. Miami was only able to muster three singles through 6 innings as the bats continued to remain silent unable to hit against the Stonehill pitching. A team that came into tonight’s contest batting .217 overall attacked Miami’s pitching ruthlessly handing Ben Chestnutt an early departure along with teammates Slaide Naturman and Brandon Olivera. It wasn’t until the 7th inning, trailing 6-1 entered Brian Walters in relief of Ashton Crowther who held the Skyhawks scoreless the first time tonight in the 6th. Brian took to the mound for the first time after 378 days recovering from Tommy John’s surgery and not only sparked the crowd by throwing upwards to 96MPH striking out the side in 13 pitches but lifted the team putting up 5 runs in the 7th, highlighted by Hollywood’s 3 run blast clearing the LF fence. By inning’s end, the score was tied at 6 with Daniel Cuvet putting the finishing touch with a one-out single in the 8th to give the Cardiac Kids a very hard-earned victory 7-6.

Changes to the Cane’s lineup had Dorian Gonzalez back at second batting 5th,  Lucas Costello moving to LF batting 6th, Jack Scanlon behind the plate in the 7th position, rounded off with Jake Kulikowski with his first start in right batting 8th, and JD Urso in the 9th position at short. Ben Chestnutt is in his third midweek and hopefully his last start. He has continually shown that he is not a starter placing too much weight on having to go to the somewhat shaky BP way too early in the game. Either JD fails to comprehend this or we just don’t have anyone to fill the position knowing that it is going to end up: pitching by committee.

Chestnutt lasted the first two batters in the first before his “chestnuts” started to get toasted. A team that was not supposed to be able to hit, made easy work of Chestnutt who lasted 2.2 innings having thrown 61 pitches as they did with Naturman and Olivero. Six runs on ten hits. The defense didn’t help matters any with the shortstop not helping the cause. Neither of our shortstops, Urso tonight and Jimenez have shown that they can not adequately field the position causing unearned runs and added pitch count to whomever is on the rubber.

Miami trailing 3-0 in the third managed to answer with one of their own on a one-out single by Hollywood to boost his average finally above the Mendoza line (200) and break out of his sophomore slump. Unfortunately, the rest of the team continued with theirs.

By the end of the 6th, Miami still stuck with one run on three hits as Stonehill continued to roll scoring in each of the first 5 innings on 10 hits. Trailing 6-1, JD goes to the BP for the 5th time with the long-awaited return of Brian Walters. He only pitched one inning but what an inning it was. You could feel a whole shift in the atmosphere as he took to the mound. Throwing a consistent 95-96 MPH, he was in the zone striking out the side only throwing 3 balls of his 13 pitches.

Trailing by 5 in the 7th, the Stonehill BP was depleted sending in 3 pitchers trying to stop the number of walks they surrendered. 6 walks ate into the 5-run lead setting up a 3-run HR by Hollywood, a walk with BL, and a WP scoring the tying run. Daniel Cuvet took it on home in the 8th with runners on the corners (2 walks) to give Miami its first lead of the game. Nick Robert who came in to record the final out in the 8th made quick work in the 9th striking out two to get the win. Stonehill would end up with 12 walks on just 2 strikeouts

Offensively, it was another one of those days where the bats stayed in the dugout. Five hits total, fortunately, one of them being the 3 run shot from Blake. He was also the only extra-base hit along with the only Cane with multiple hits going 2-3 (HR,4RBIs). Tonight our overall hitting with the 5 hits was .179

Defensively, as stated our weakest position is SS which neither one can play effectively. Tonight JD had officially one error but easily could have been credited with 2 more. Chestnutt didn’t help his course throwing the ball into the OF on an APO resulting in a run. On the positive side, Scanlon had a great P/O at first which saved an additional run in the 4th.

If we played like we did tonight against a team that only batted .217 we definitely have problems. This .217 team tonight batted .282 and if we expect to compete against an ACC opponent of Virgina’s caliber we have a long weekend ahead. The BP has to show up with our starters, unlike tonight, give us 6 good innings. The cupcake teams are over, joke, it’s time for serious business. First pitch 7PM


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