Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

Back-to-back come-from-behind games, but none bigger than tonight’s “Unbelievable” comeback not seen at the Light in 32 years. The Cardiac Canes 9 runs down the end of the 6 and facing a possible 10-run Mercy Rule, would not falter and instead of facing the inevitable does a complete turnabout putting up numbers not seen not only this year but possibly forever. Throughout the next two innings (7th,8th), 13 unanswered runs batting out 11 hits capped with a grand slam HR by Blake Cyr followed by Daniel Cuvet’s 8th of the year to complete the Mark Light Miracle to capture the Canes’ first ACC series. In the words of J Monte of WVUM what was seen was an Historic Comeback on the “Field of Dreams.” Mark Light’s light never shined BRIGHTER than it did tonight.

Minor changes to the bottom of the lineup with Lorenzo Carrier in left batting 6th, Lucas Costello moving from left to right remaining in the 7th position, with Carlos Perez behind the plate batting 8th, rounded out with JD Urso at short batting 9th. Rafe Schlesinger on the mound.

Virginia stung from Miami’s comeback in last night’s loss turned up the burners showing why they they are ranked 2nd in the country offensively. They had Miami with its back against the wall down by 9 runs at the end of 5 and facing an early decision before the Mark Light Miracle started taking form. Virginia took an early lead with 4 runs on 7 hits before Miami registered their first hit in the third. Rafe had problems right from the start coming in the first inning with BL. A SF to right brought about the initial score (unearned) and Hoos took an early 1-0 lead. Defense, E3 error, once again played a major role in putting Miami in catchup mode. Two consecutive walks loaded the bases setting up their first score.

Starter Evan Blanco had our batters gridlocked taking down the first 6 batters faced; three by strikeouts. Rafe struggles continued in the third doubling his pitch count from 32 to 65 unable to keep the Virginia batters off the base pads. Eight batters made it to the plate, six for hits scoring three times including a two-run homer by Harrison Diddiwick to extend their lead to 4-0 and it looked like Miami was in for a long night. 

Miami getting their second look at Virginia’s starter, started stringing  hits together which has been an ongoing issue that they have failed to do this season. Three consecutive singles (Cyr,Cuvet,Gonzalez) contributed to Miami closing the gap to within one run.

Virginia responded with 4 in the 4th and 4 more in the 5th to extend their lead to 12-3 at the end of three and already the fans were conceding the game and heading for the gates. JD kept Rafe in through the 4th and anything he threw the Virginia batters had an answer for it including Diddiwick with his second HR of the night with two on board. At 99 pitches JD brings in Ben Chestnutt in a surprise relief to pitch the 5th. It appeared that JD was also considering saving pitchers for the rubber match on Sunday. The only thing positive I saw in going with Chestnutt is that JD has come to the realization that all Ben is good for is relief duties and his days as a starter are finally over. Tonight he showed that he wasn’t even good for that surrendering four runs on 4 hits. A lead-off double in the 5th and it went downhill from there. By the inning’s end, the score was 12-3 and the Virginia fans were celebrating.

What the Virginia fans forgot is that there are 27 outs to a ballgame and it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. There would be no singing tonight as Miami was about to do the unthinkable. 13 unanswered runs over the course of the 7th and 8th innings. A barrage of hits and runs were about to descend upon the Virginia pitching staff. In both innings, Miami batted around. 7th inning 6 runs on 7 hits with a review of Carlos Perez’s ball hitting the top of the yellow tape and bouncing back onto the field of play. Ruled a double denying Miami 2 runs which would have brought the Canes to within 5 runs. Canes quickly got the loss two runs denied with a JD Urso single that netted the two runs which included one from a throwing error by their second baseman.

Down by 3, into the 8th the fans for the first time started to believe that the Cardiac Canes actually had a chance to get back into the game. What followed all came with two outs. Back-to-back doubles by Carrier and Long brought the score within two. Three straight walks and the score narrows to within one. Bases are loaded, two outs Blake Cyr steps to the plate. 1-0 count and the rest is history with the most historical comeback since 1992. A swing of the bat and the ball is gone 392 feet for a Grand Slam and Miami’s first lead of the night: 15-12. Daniel Cuvet with some added insurance with his 8th of the year traveling 378 feet. For the fans that stuck around it was a game of a lifetime. A combined 28 runs on 35 hits. 

Nick Robert came to shut the door sealing the series victory on 11 pitches with Jason Torres taking the honors of an unassisted third out. The Cardiac Canes on the Field of Dreams is a reality.

Offensively, 7 seven batters with multiple numbers. Only Torres in the starting nine not with multiple numbers with Costello the only one without a hit. Blake ended the evening with 5 RBIs along with Cuvet with 3. Everyone else except for Costello had an RBI. Five doubles:(Dorian(2), Carrier, Long, Perez) and two HRs(Cyr,Cuvet). Overall, the team batted .429 and with RISP 10-17. An unbelievable night at the plate where the previous two games only managed 5 hits for each.

Tomorrow for the sweep. Herick Hernandez will be on the rubber starting at 1PM 


1 thought on “VIRGINIA: GAME 2

  1. Epic. One of the best comebacks ever at any level of baseball. Good write-up here. Regret not being there in person, a sentiment no doubt shared by the many who left the game early with UM down by nine when talk was of saving a little dignity, getting the game over with and getting ready for Sunday.

    JD’s starting off on a worthy foot conference-wise. The WVUM guys did a fine job communicating the drama. Madness broke out at our place when Cyr hit that grand slam. Don’t often attend the evening games, but that may change. Se fue la pelota!

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