This Week in Canes Baseball

Adam
Clarke
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Vishnu
Parasuraman
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Another weekend series win for Miami, but once again it only served to make Miami’s postseason chances more unlikely. The Canes only managed to take 2 of 3 from Bethune Cookman at home, when they likely needed to sweep (in addition to many more wins over the next 2-3 weeks) to have even the semblance of a chance for an at-large bid. Short of pulling off the impossible — 8 straight wins to close out the season, including a road sweep of UVA, Miami will need to win the ACC Tournament if it wants to keep the postseason streak alive.

The Canes won a back-and-forth affair on Friday evening, ultimately scoring 3 runs late to win 6-5. Joe Gomez knocked in the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 8th, and Miami got 5+ excellent innings out of the bullpen. Saturday did not go nearly as well, with Miami falling behind 6-0 early when Michael Mediavilla struggled on the mound. With the bullpen already stretched from the night before, Jim Morris chose to ride out the game with Jesse Lepore. Lepore gave up an additional 2 runs of his own, but Miami’s bats never really threatened and the Canes ultimately fell 7-3. The Canes won a straightforward game on Sunday afternoon, 7-1, that was sparked by yet another Romy Gonzalez home run, who ended the weekend with three.

A 2-1 week means Miami is now officially back at .500 in D-1 games at 23-23. Every week we step back and look at our chart of what the Canes need to do in the remaining games to even warrant consideration for an at-large bid. Well, from here on, it’s simple — win out. Event that might not be enough, given the Canes would probably still have a fairly low RPI. Defenders might point to what would be a strong ACC record, but the league as a whole is way down this year, and if the committee recognizes that, it’s curtains for Miami. But, to make it easier, any regular season loss from here on effectively dooms Miami’s chances.

Central Florida
Wed: May 10, 7:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

Former Cane and first-year coach Greg Lovelady has Central Florida on track for a spot in the field of 64, with a 33-15 overall record and a competitive (mid-30s) RPI. UCF is certainly no offensive juggernaut, but they have guys throughout the lineup that can make a pitcher pay for mistakes. Rylan Thomas and Eli Putnam lead the charge, with 11 and 6 home runs respectively. The Knights have shuffled their midweek pitching a bit in the last few weeks, so it’s hard to tell who will get the start. If it’s Trent Thompson, who went last Tuesday, then Miami will be seeing a guy with a 0.75 ERA, though he has primarily worked out of the bullpen this season.

@Virginia
Fri: May 12, 6:00 PM, Sat: May 13, 4:00 PM, Sun: May 14, 1:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

The Cavaliers have been a top 10-15 team all season, and after having the weekend off, come into this game at 36-11, 14-10 in conference play. They’ve dropped 3 ACC series this year to the top three teams in conference (UNC, Clemson, and Louisville).

Based on batting average, UVA is the top offensive team in the league, batting .327 as a squad. Top to bottom, the lineup is full of guys hitting well above .300, a mark that has eluded all Hurricanes hitters this year. Adam Haseley has an absurd .399 average with 12 home runs, and Caleb Knight leads the team overall, hitting .408. This Cavaliers team is also one of the fastest and most efficient on the base paths, safely stealing 73 of 86 attempts this year.

The offensive success hasn’t quite been replicated on the mound, but UVA is no slouch there either. Their team ERA of 3.92 is good for 6th in the ACC. Not content to just lead his team in home runs, Adam Haseley also has the best ERA (3.58) of the starting rotation. He goes on Sundays, with Derek Casey (3.78) and Daniel Lynch (5.11) starting the other two nights. If there’s a weak spot on this team, it’s the starting pitching. Virginia has a slew of talented arms coming out the pen, including closer Tommy Doyle (12 saves, 2.05 ERA).

Predictions

Clarke

Can we just hit fast forward and get the frustration of this season behind us? On Saturday, I was unable to keep up with the game until later in the evening. I ended up with a free moment to check twitter, only to scroll through and see that Miami was down 6-0 to Bethune Cookman. The worst part was that I was wholly unsurprised. That’s what this season has been like. For weeks now, the Canes have done just enough to get us to say the same thing — some variation of “it will take a miracle, but if the Canes run off x number of wins, there’s a chance.” No, there’s no chance. This is a bad team with bad coaching. And this week UVA makes that as plain as day. Miami goes 1-3, getting swept in Charlottesville.

Parasuraman

The Canes continue to win series, while continuing to move further away from the NCAA Tournament. This weekend will end any glimmer of hope. I do think the Canes will do well in the midweek, but that won’t be nearly enough. The Canes won’t get wiped out on the weekend, that would be too easy. Instead, I expect them to be in every game, but for a combination of strikeouts, errors, and Jim Morris mismanagement to have UVA take 2 out of 3. Canes drop the UVA series, go 2-2 on the week, and prepare for a long summer of soul searching. 

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