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Canes Lose Second Straight As They Fall To Stetson 7-3

Stetson Scores Four in the Seventh Inning To Beat Canes

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The Hurricanes lost their second game in a row by dropping tonight's game to Stetson University 7-3, in DeLand, Florida.

Stetson got the scoring going in the bottom of the second with Wade McNabb starting things off with a single to right field.  Canes pitcher Danny Garcia got what seemed to be an inning ending double play ground ball but it was botched by Canes shortstop Brandon Lopez putting runners on first and second.  After a Kyle Pitts walk, Stetson sophomore Jake Pequignot came up to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases clearing double making it 3-0 for the Hatters.

The Canes couldn't get on the board until Dale Carey came up and hit a stand up double in the top of the fifth inning.  Tyler Palmer next up reached on an infield single, however with red hot hitter Willie Abreu up at the plate Palmer was inexcusably caught trying to steal second.  With Abreu still up at the plate he delivered a single to right field driving in Carey for his sixth RBI of the season.  Following Abreu was senior Brad Fieger who hit an RBI double down the right field scoring  Abreu all the way from first, cutting the lead to 3-2 in favor of Stetson.

Stetson tried to rally in the bottom of fifth inning by knocking out Canes starter Danny Garcia who would end his day by throwing four and two thirds innings while allowing three runs two unearned on four hits with one strikeout.  In came reliever Adam Sargent who walked the first batter he faced giving Stetson bases loaded with two outs with Stetson senior center fielder Kyle Zech coming to the plate and Zech hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball back to Sargent but Sargent made an errant throw that was luckily saved by first baseman David Thompson who saved the Canes two runs and ended the Hatters scoring threat.

The Canes struck again in the top of the seventh when Tyler Palmer singled to left field then with Palmer stealing second and advancing to third on a Willie Abreu fly out, reliable Brad Fieger came up to bat. Figer was facing Stetson reliever Trey Norris and Fieger delivered with a single to left field driving in his thirteenth run of the season and second run of the game making it 3-3.  That run would be charged to Stetson starter Austin Perez who finished the day by throwing six and two thirds innings while surrendering ten hits but only allowing three runs all earned with four strikeouts.

Just when the Canes had gotten the score all evened up Stetson broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh.  Stetson sophmore catcher Patrick Mazeika got things started with a single off Canes reliever Daniel Sayles. With a passed ball by catcher Garrett Kennedy the Canes decided to intentionally walk first baseman Josh Powers putting runners at first and second.  Up next for Stetson was Garrett Russini who hit a double off the left field wall driving in Mazeika making it 4-3 for Stetson.  The Hatter's were just getting started, Cooper Hammond had come in to pitch for the Canes to try and stop the damage Sayles had created but just as Sayles did Hammond struggled.  Hammond gave up a double to Stetson pinch hitter Darby McCormik which drove in two runs making it a 6-3 score. Then after a Kyle Pitts single, Robert Bruce hit an infield single driving in McCormik making it 7-3.  After the bottom half of the inning ended the pitching line for Sayles and Hammond combined was one inning pitched with four runs given up on five hits just a brutal inning for the bullpen.

The Canes never recovered from that as they went six up and six down to end the game to fall to (10-7, 3-0 ACC) and with the win Stetson improved to (6-12, 0-0 Atlantic Sun).

The three things Canes fans should be concerned  with as the season continues for this club is:

1. Errors such as the one Brandon Lopez committed in the second inning today continues to haunt this team and are really inexcusable.

2. The bullpen once again got shelled, and with the exception of Bryan Garcia the bullpen of this club is a major concern.

3. Not coming through with men on base. Today the Canes left eight men on base and yesterday they left seven on base.  This is a concern moving forward.

The Canes travel to Atlanta as they begin a three game series against ACC Coastal opponent Georgia Tech this weekend.   Friday's game is scheduled for 7 PM and it can be seen on ESPN3 and heard on 90.5 WVUM.