This Week in Canes Baseball

Adam
Clarke
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Vishnu
Parasuraman
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It was a sweep, but barely, as the Canes used 2 walk-off wins to defeat Bethune-Cookman 3 times by a total of 4 runs. Each game seemed to escalate poor pitching. The Canes won Friday’s tilt 4-2 behind Jeb Bargfeldt. On Saturday, it was a see-saw affair as the Canes jumped out early, recaptured the lead, blew it again, and then rallied in the 9th to walk-off with an 8-7 win. Sunday’s tilt saw no pitching. Bethune-Cookman jumped out to a 4-0 lead, the Canes then scored 11 runs in a row to seemingly put the game away at 11-4. But the Wildcats scored 7 unanswered runs to tie it up, before Romy Gonzalez hit a game winning walk-off single.

So where does this leaves the Canes? Still dead in the water. Miami has 8 games left…including 6 against the last place teams in the ACC Coastal and ACC Atlantic. But even if they win all 8, they’ll finish the season 29-25, and 17-13 in conference. While the conference record is good enough, that non-conference is not. Of course, the Canes won’t win 8 games in a row and might not even win another series. But they still need to win the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament, and there is really no changing that at this point.

Florida Gulf Coast
Wed: May 8, 6:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

FGCU stinks, so does Miami. This is the 3rd meeting between the 2 teams, and the rubber match with FGCU winning the first meeting in Ft. Myers while the Canes responded with one of their better midweek performances of the year in the return match. This is the last traditional Wednesday midweek game of Jim Morris’ career, and we are basically counting those sorts of landmarks now. I’m not going to really do much more of a preview on this because we’ve previewed FGCU twice, and no one really cares about this game.

@Virginia Tech
Fri: May 11, 6:00 PM, Sat: May 12, 3:00 M, Sun: May 13, 1:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

The last ACC road series of Jim Morris’ career takes the Canes to Blacksburg to take on the last place in the ACC Coastal Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia Tech has not won an ACC series all year. The Hokies have, however, played .500 ball overall at home.

Virginia Tech is in the middle of the pack in terms of hitting. They bat .270, which puts them at 7th in the ACC. In terms of power, they’ve hit twice as many HRs as the Canes. The Hokies have 3 hitters batting over .300, and 2 with some good power in Tom Stoffel and Sam Fragale. The Hokies also have 2 other hitters who don’t hit for average but have hit 6 HRs each. So there is power up and down this lineup that the Canes will have to contend with.

On the mound, the Hokies really struggle, with a team ERA over 5 and with one of the worst staffs in the ACC. With that said, ace Ian Seymour has been solid and shown the ability to win some games, so Friday’s game might be a challenge. On Saturday recently, the Hokies have gone with Nic Enright, who has an ERA well over 5. Sunday’s starter should be Connor Coward, who has an ERA just north of 4. Andrew McDonald is the Hokies’ dedicated closer, but his ERA is also 4. In fact, in a stunning indictment of the entire staff, Seymour is the only sub-4 ERA on the team for a player that has appeared more than twice (and only one other player in total is sub-4).

This is an opportunity for the Canes to sweep, but given the struggles against Bethune-Cookman, a series win would be a mild surprise.

Predictions

Clarke

Last week I made a snarky comment that implied the Canes wouldn’t put in much effort against Bethune-Cookman. So earning two walk off wins and a sweep deserves some praise, even if it was against one of the few Floridian teams having a worse year than Miami. As for this week, I expect the Canes to churn out another of their favorite weekly outcomes – a 2-2 week with a midweek loss. This season can’t end soon enough.

Parasuraman

The Canes haven’t been too bad on the road, but have been awful on the midweek. It’s hard to imagine the Canes doing something extraordinary like winning all 5 games and running this win streak to 8 games. In fact, I don’t think they get past FGCU. On the weekend, VT hasn’t won an ACC series, but there’s a first time for everything. Virginia Tech wins the weekend series and the Canes go 1-3 this week. 

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