UCF Takes Wednesday Night Game From Canes, 10-5

Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Miami started cranking it up in the 9th inning, but it was too little, way, way too late. It was ugly at the highest level of pitching, hitting, and fielding from the opening inning. An Earlier interview with JP Gates, he stated: “It starts with the first pitch. If we hit, pitch, and play defense, nobody is going to beat us”.  I guess if you have none of these It is a formula for not coming up on the winning side. Only 4 hits going into the 4th inning. Pitching gave up nine unanswered runs, allowing the lead-off batter to reach base in 6 of the 8 innings, resulting in all of their 10 runs. Finally, 3 errors accounted for 3 of the 10 runs scored.

This definitely was a night where all these elements came into play and Miami did have a response to answer with. Even so, they managed to keep the game at a 1-1 tie through the first 4 innings. With the change in pitchers, the whole complexion of the game changed. The BP showed once again the lack of consistency in control and keeping runners off the bases.  Tonight, we were outpitched and outplayed, but more importantly, outscored 10-5.Starting lineup 1-6 remained the same from Sunday. Batting 7th as DH Zach Levenson. 8th Dominic and batting 9th Lorenzo Carrier. Jake Garland, who was set to start Sunday but due to a tightness in his back gets the call instead for tonight’s gameErrors cost runs. Tonight as stated we had three, with the first in the opening inning.

You could almost see the handwriting on the wall with the first batter, setting the theme for the entire game. An 8 pitch contest at the plate losing it hitting the batter. He would be the 1st of 6 to reach base for the start of an inning. With a runner on 1st, an attempted pickoff (E1), and UCF has a runner in scoring position. Two plays later scores on a ground out 6-3 for the initial score. Put runners on initially and bad things happen. Miami responded in the first half of the second with a 361-foot HR above the CF gate by Zach Levenson. This score would hold,1-1, through 4. Jake only having thrown 49 pitches and even getting himself in a jam with the lead-off batter on base for 3 of the 4 innings pitched, Gino decided to turn to the BP and go with Rosario whose last start against Harvard gave up 5 runs in his last two innings pitched.

Either Jake’s back was bothering him or Gino is thinking Sunday and starting Jake on a quick turnaround. All mid-week games are important, but not as important as an ACC game.Two errors in the 5th set up two runs, and the beginning of 9 unanswered runs over the next 3 innings. Rosario in the 5th got off to a bad start with the help of the defense. Fielding error by Max,(E2) made the 4th inning where the lead-off batter reached base safely.

Walks the second batter. Strikes out the next which would have been the 2nd out and then Burke playing Center misread a line drive back to him (E8)  breaks the tie at one. To further complicate matters next batter grounds outs which brings in the 2nd unearned run of the inning. UCF breaks the tie and lead 3-1.The 6th, no errors, but 4 more runs to extend the deficit to 6. Again, the lead-off batter on with a single. Two batters later have runners on the corners. Play at the plate prevents a run, but the third single of the inning brings in 2 runs followed by a 2RBI HR ends the short outing of Alejandro Rosario giving up 6 runs four of which were earned.Jordan Dubberly doesn’t have much success in relief coming in to pitch the 7th. Like his predecessors, gives up 1B to the lead-off batter hitting him. The hit batter is followed up with a double. Manages to hold the next two batters and almost gets out of the inning except for a homer to right scoring three.Since the second inning with Zach’s HR, Miami had only 3 hits.  There was an opportunity in the 3rd to score with runners on the corners, but a 4-3 DP ended any scoring opportunity. Other than that it was an ineffective offense until the 9th inning.Too little, way, way too late. Miami flexed its muscle and showed a bit of patience with the first two batters (Dorian,Zach)  reaching base via the walk. Dominic singles to load the bases with no outs. Rosario,  PH for Carrier who left the game in the 7th due to an injury to his shoulder flies out. Top of the order CJ, hitless and a 6 game hitting streak on the line, makes the game a bit more interesting going deep to right-center for the Grand Salami.

Lead cut to 5, Visions of last Friday start surfacing when Edgardo singles and it seems that the sleeping giant has finally awakened.

Just as quickly all is extinguished with Yoyo and Max striking out ending on a very sour note. Miami falls 10-5 to mid-state rival.The offense rather than turning the page and moving forward went into regress mode and only showed a bit of life when it was too late to matter. Only two players with multiple hits: Edgardo Villegas 2-4 ; Dominic Pitelli 2-3. Of the 7 hits 3 for extra bases: Yoyo (double); Zach Leverson (HR); CJ (HR).  CJ kept his hitting streak at 7 and has reached base in the last 16 games. Both Burke and Dorian’s hitting streak ended at 5 and 8 but Dorian with a walk tonight has reached base in the last 9 games.

Dominic’s hitting streak continues at 9 and 14 games reached safely.If we hit, pitch, and play defense, nobody is going to beat us so stated JP Gates.  We didn’t play our game and the result showed it. Friday begins an all-important series with Clemson. Gino summarized the game by stating :“I just feel like we’ve been too inconsistent.  We have to pitch better. We have to do a better job offensively, giving better at-bats. We have to play better defense, that’s the bottom line.” Tonight Clemson lost their 2nd game in a row and will be out to redeem these losses. We better have our A game ready or things will get real dicey moving forward. Start time Friday 6PM.


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