This Week in Canes Baseball

Adam
Clarke
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Vishnu
Parasuraman
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A successful 4-0 week stretched the Canes’ winning streak to 8 games. The 4 wins allowed Miami to finally get back to a .500 record (25-25) for the first time since being 12-12 at the end of March. They also officially qualified for the ACC Tournament, keeping their chances of an NCAA tournament berth alive. The winning streak has also opened a very small crack in the door for an at-large bid. The Canes would have to close out the regular season with another 4-0 week, have a strong showing in the ACC tournament, and hope that very few bids are “stolen” in the smaller conferences. Even then, the chances are still slim, but decent play over the last two weeks has created an opportunity that neither of us thought remotely possible a month ago.

Miami’s success this week was due in large part to their performance at the plate. The Canes scored 40 runs over the 4 games, by far the most they’ve had in a week this season. It started with a 7-1 win over FGCU in which Andrew Cabezas got the start instead of Chris McMahon, who was moved to Cabezas’ Sunday starter role.

The series win in Blacksburg did not come so easily. On Friday, Miami gave up a 2-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, but a Romy Gonzalez RBI single in the 12th earned Miami the 5-4 victory. Saturday was a more comfortable affair, as the Canes jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning 16-4. Sunday’s game lasted into the 10th inning, but Miami notched 4 in the top of the frame to make it 12-8 and clinch the sweep.

There is a quick turnaround this week, with the Hurricanes back in Coral Gables on Tuesday night before a Thursday to Saturday weekend series to close out the regular season.

Stetson
Tue: May 15, 6:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

Speaking of winning streaks, Stetson is on 10-game streak of its own entering this week. They are 40-11 (!) on the season, sitting at 13th in the D1Baseball top 25. They are 12-8 away from home, but this is definitely among the best midweek opponents Miami has faced this year. At #7 in the RPI, they seem destined to host the strange sounding Deland Regional in the NCAA tournament, and will be looking to notch a win over a traditional college baseball power this week to cement that.

Previous midweek games would suggest that Joey Gonzalez (7-3, 1.79 ERA) will get the start here, though he did pitch in relief on Saturday. He’s been impressive all season, including in his 2 starts against FSU. Stetson has a very impressive closer in Brooks Wilson (1.76 ERA), who has 19 saves in 28 appearances.

The Stetson lineup won’t blow you away with power, but they are consistent and excel in their small-ball approach. Brooks Wilson, the aforementioned closer, is also one of their best hitters, leading the team in slugging and on-base percent.

Boston College
Thu: May 17, 7:00 PM, Fri: May 18, 7:00 M, Sun: May 19, 12:00 PM
Note: All games have WVUM radio coverage. TV coverage is on ESPN3.

After sweeping the team with the second-worst record in the ACC this season, Miami will finish off the season against the team with the worst record. BC is 16-30 on the year, and just 7-20 in conference play. Their lone conference series win this year came against the Hokies.

Boston College’s offense is pretty bad. They are hitting just .241 as a team, with just 14 home runs on the season. They have 3 guys hitting above .300 (Chris Galland, Jake Palomaki, and Brian Dempsey), and then everyone else in the mid to low .200s. It gets even worse when you filter out by conference play only. BC tries to manufacture runs by being very active on the bases, with the second most stolen-base attempts in the ACC. But despite being reasonably successful at it, they haven’t been able to turn those extra bases into runs or wins.

Boston College’s struggles extend to the mound, as evidenced by 5.28 team ERA, third-worst in the conference. The main culprit is the starting rotation, all of whom are at 3.5 or worse. Jacob Stevens (3-6, 5.09 ERA) will likely get the nod on Thursday, followed by Dan Metzdorf (1-7, 5.87), and Brian Rapp (3-5, 3.57 ERA). The bullpen has a couple of arms with sub-3 ERAs, but beyond that, it’s below average.

Predictions

Clarke

While the Miami late-season push has been fun, I think it all crashes down on Tuesday against a strong Stetson team. If Cabezas gets the start, I think Miami has a slightly better chance, simply because he tends to run very hot or very cold. Even with a midweek loss, Boston College is so bad that I expect Miami will close out Jim Morris’ last home series with a sweep. It would be a nice ending to his career, and hopefully would give Miami some momentum heading into the ACC Tournament to give their coach one last postseason run. Miami goes 3-1, with a midweek loss to Stetson.

Parasuraman

The Canes are on fire. They are winning close games, but swinging the bat well, which means they now have the confidence to rally from deficits, something they did multiple times last week. I think the team is locked in, and while it will likely be too little too late to make the NCAA Tournament, one last win streak in Coach Morris’ career is still cool. I think Cabezas on the midweek will help to win that game. Then on the weekend, BC might be the worst team in the ACC. The Canes finish the year in style, with another 4-0 week, and a 12-game winning streak.

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