Cave, Martin Lift Canes To Semis

Tournaments : : Story
Jim Ecker        
Published: Monday, October 25, 2010

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jake Cave did what he usually does Sunday night. Meanwhile, Kyle Martin did something he's never done before.


The combination was lethal.


Cave mowed down Marucci Elite for four innings and Martin went 3-for-3 with a pair of triples as Canes Baseball cruised into the semifinals of the WWBA World Championship with a 7-2 victory at the Roger Dean Complex.


The Canes will face Chet Lemon's Juice in the semifinals Monday at 9 a.m. The Dirtbags will play FTB Mizuno/Cardinals Scout Team in the other semifinal, with the championship game scheduled for 11:30 a.m.


Cave struck out nine batters with a fastball that reached 93 mph, complemented by a devastating changeup. The Marucci batters had trouble touching either pitch until Cave tired in the fifth inning and gave the ball to Michael Gilroy after three straight batters had reached base.


"I might have gotten a little nonchalant because we had a lead," said Cave, who took a 4-0 advantage into the fifth inning. "That first inning I was bearing down. I was like, 'I want to get these guys.' That's my fault. I shouldn't have lost my edge, but I did. It all worked out."


Cave, a senior from Hampton, Va. who has committed to LSU, fanned three batters in the first inning with a fastball that sat in the 91 to 93 mph range. He allowed a walk in the first inning, but had the Marucci batters swinging at air.


Cave struck out the side in the second inning, giving him six strikeouts in seven batters, but his fastball dipped a little to the 89-to-91 range. By the fourth and fifth innings, he slipped a tad further to the 88-to-90 range, with more 88s than 90s. He gave up a single, double and walk to the first three batters in the fifth inning and finished the game in center field.


"My body is getting a little tired," he said. "I mean outfield, running, hitting, pitching. But I felt good. My fastball felt pretty live today. And the changeup was working. I walked too many guys (three), but we came out with the W."


Both of Marucci's runs in the fifth inning were charged to Cave. Gilroy pitched the rest of the game, allowing two hits and no runs in three innings.


Martin, batting cleanup for the Canes, collected RBI triples in the first inning and again in the fourth. He added an RBI single in the fifth inning, making him 3-for-3 with three RBIs.


The two triples were special.


"That's the first time I've ever had that," he said. "It's the first time I've ever had two triples, two doubles, two homers in the same game. It felt great."


Cave also slugged an RBI triple to give the Canes a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and he scored to make it 2-0 on the first RBI triple by Martin. Nicholas Thompson walked and scored on Martin's second triple in the fourth inning, making it 3-0, and Martin scored on a single by Curt Britt to make it 4-0.


Britt and Luke Dunlap both went 2-for-3.


Now the Canes are looking forward to the final day of the tournament.


"We're coming on strong," said Martin, a senior from Simpsonville, S.C. who has committed to the University of South Carolina. "We haven't even reached our peak yet. Hopefully we'll come out tomorrow and get it all done."


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