Another sad week for Miami baseball, where a midweek loss and a series defeat in Tallahassee resulted in a 1-3 week. The record now sits at 18-25, and the path to an at-large bid has long since disappeared. The Canes cannot continue this slide, or they risk not even making the ACC tournament. 12 teams make it, with the two teams with the worst conference record missing out. The Canes currently only have three teams below them in the conference standings. With series against two of the three still to come, it’s certainly a possibility that Miami misses out on postseason play entirely.
Last week saw a resounding 14-6 loss to FIU in the midweek. The weekend series at Florida State did not start off much better, with the Canes falling behind early on Friday on a 2-run home run. Jeb Bargdfelt steadied himself from there, not allowing another run the rest of the way. But the Miami offense was once again woeful. With the bases loaded and one out T-9, Miami managed back-to-back strikeouts. In the end, they were 0-8 with runners in scoring position in a 2-0 loss.
The next day was a beat-down, with FSU scoring runs in 6 of their 8 innings, and ultimately prevailing 10-1. Let’s just move on.
It seemed likely that FSU coach Mike Martin would set the all-time college baseball coaching wins record on Sunday, especially after the Seminoles went up 3-1 early. But an Isaac Quinones 3-R home run, the first of his Miami career, gave the Canes a lead they wouldn’t surrender. They ultimately prevailed 11-5.
The Canes are off in the midweek because of final exams. So here we are, previewing only a non-conference series that will have absolutely no impact on Miami’s postseason chances. We will try to put in marginally more effort than we expect the team will.
Fri: May 4, 7:00 PM, Sat: May 5, 7:00 PM, Sun: May 6, 1:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.
Bethune-Cookman is 18-27 on the season, with their conference record slightly more impressive at 12-9. Their best win on the season is probably a 7-6 victory over Florida Atlantic in March.
The most recent weekend pitching rotation went Tyler Norris (3-5, 3.97 ERA), Anthony Maldonado (6-2, 3.00 ERA), and Tyler Krull (1-3, 7.00 ERA). Hardly the most impressive group, but Maldonado stands out with his ability to go the distance (3 CG) and to generate strikeouts at a decent rate (59 in 54 innings). Ivan Coutinho is the designated closer, with 3 saves on the season. Jordan Pinto and Isaak Guiterrez also see plenty of time out of the bullpen.
There’s not a lot that stands out in the Wildcat lineup either. Nate Sterijevski leads the team in batting average (.316) and on-base percentage (.413). Collectively, Bethune-Cookman has hit 25 home runs, with Danny Rodriguez’s 7 leading the team.
In this meaningless week against a bad MEAC team, I still expect Miami to find a way to lose at least one game. It wouldn’t totally surprise me if Miami dropped this series, actually. As we saw on Sunday, this Canes team has spurts of good play sandwiched around long stretches of ineptitude. At this point in the season, these are just valuable at-bats for the young players to get, in hopes of a better future. Miami wins the series 2-1.
Who really cares at this point? The Canes will play out the string and then try to somehow win the ACC Tournament. So this really doesn’t matter, it’s nto a rivalry, and even a team that struggles in the MEAC will probably rack up some strikeouts. The Canes will blow a game…so they take 2 out of 3 this week.