In case you missed it, the Canes swept VCU in Super Regionals and were the first team to secure a spot in the College World Series. And, I'm here to tell you why Miami will take full advantage of this opportunity and will win the College World Series.
Miami is a school with a rich baseball tradition. With 4 CWS titles already to our credit, the Canes have the championship pedigree that other schools dream of. It's been a while since we won the CWS, but Jim Morris was the coach for the 1999 and 2001 championships. That championship tradition ins on reason why the Canes will win the CWS.
8.4 runs per game (2nd nationally).
.311 team batting average (6th nationally).
.422 on base percentage (1st nationally).
9 players who have .300 batting averages, and a 10th at .297.
There are no easy outs in the Canes' batting order, and there's plenty of discipline, contact, and power at ever spot in the lineup. The only time you have consecutive hitters who bat the same hand is when the lineup turns over from 9 to 1 (both RH hitters), so pitchers can't get into a groove. This lineup is as daunting as any in the CWS field, and it's another reason why the Canes will win the CWS.
Starters Andy Suarez (9-1, 2.96 ERA) and Thomas Woodrey (7-2, 3.06 ERA) give the Canes a nice 1-2 combo at the top of the rotation. Suarez is a power pitcher who touches 93 on the radar gun, and Woodrey is a control artist with an assortment of of off-speed and breaking pitches. While Woodrey was the ace through most of the year and earned 2nd team All-ACC honors, Suarez has bounced back from an early season oblique strain to regain his spot atop the rotation.
Add in relievers RHP Cooper Hammond, a nasty submariner, and LHP Michael Mediavilla, a freshman All-American, in front of closer Bryan Garcia, and the Canes have more than enough pitching to shut down any offense. And that pitching is another reason why the Canes will win the CWS.
4. Star Power
To win in any sport, you have to have star players on your team. Good thing for the Canes, then, that there is plenty of elite talent on the roster.
2B George Iskenderian (.367 avg, .941 OPS) was named a 1st Team All-American by Baseball America.
3B David Thompson (.333 avg, 19 HR, 87 RBI, 1.103 OPS) was a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes award, is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, and is another Baseball America 1st Team All-American. Thompson was a 4th round pick by the Mets in the MLB draft.
DH/C Zach Collins (.303 avg, 15 HR, 70 RBI) has the most raw power of anybody on the Canes roster, and will be a high round MLB pick in 2016.
Add in the aforementioned Suarez (who has twice been drafted in the 2nd round of the MLB draft) and Garcia (a shut down closer) and you have more talent in those 5 players than some teams have on their entire roster. And that's another reason why the Canes will win the CWS.
5. We're due
The Hurricanes didn't become College Baseball royalty by making it to Omaha.
We became College Baseball royalty by winning it all when we got to Omaha.
Whether you're talking about 7 years since the last time the Canes were in Omaha (2008) or 14 years from the last time the Canes won it all (2001), there's been enough time and postseason anguish to give this team the extra motivation needed to come out on top.
David Thompson famously told his dad when he was 6 years old that one day he would play baseball for the Canes and lead the team to Omaha. He's done those 2 things. Now, it's time to win the whole thing. And that's yet another reason why the Canes will win the CWS.
No matter whether you agree with me or choose to be wrong by disagreeing, you can watch the Canes' first CWS game against our rivals from Gainesville at 8pm on ESPN.