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This Week in Canes’ Baseball: February 22nd

The Hurricanes have a vital series against an in-state rival this weekend.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Miami vs UC Santa Barbara Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a season opening 2-1 series win vs Rutgers, the Hurricanes look to continue the good momentum this week, and recover a little bit after a blow-out loss in the last game of the series vs Rutgers.

Midweek Game - @ FIU Golden Panthers

On Wednesday the Hurricanes have their first midweek game of the season @FIU. The Canes’ look to use this as a bounce back game after losing 17-6 vs Rutgers on Sunday.

Expect Jim Morris to experiment with the lineup heavily in this game, as Morris will look to fix the defense after the total disaster that was the Hurricanes’ defense on Sunday.

6 ERRORS, with 5 in one inning is UNACCEPTABLE for a team of UM’s caliber. The Canes’ know that pitching and defense will be the main factors for how successful this season will be, hopefully the Rutgers game was a one-time outlier, but on Wednesday we will start to see if this will be a trend.

The Canes’ are a big-time team in a major baseball conference, and sport considerably more talent on the roster than FIU, expect the Hurricanes to win on the road.

Prediction: Canes’ win, 4-1.

Game Info:

Date & Time: Wednesday, February 22, 7:00 P.M Eastern Game postponed for weather

Hurricanes Starter: Don't yet know for sure, possibly Kevin Pimentel, Andrew Cabezas, or Greg Veliz. Freshman Greg Veliz will get the start for the Canes’.

Radio: WVUM 90.5

Television: None


Weekend Series - @ Florida Gators

The Hurricanes continue their yearly series with the in-state rivals with an early trip up to Gainesville. This is one of the toughest series the Hurricanes will face all year. The Gators are ranked among the top 5 in most national polls, and winning a series on the road in Gainesville will be difficult.

The Hurricanes’ young team will also have to face playing in a truly hostile environment for the first time, and this represents the first collegiate start against very strong competition on the road for both Jesse Lepore and Jeb Bargfeldt.

The Gators lost 8 players to the draft, including 2 of their top pitchers from last season, and just barely squeaked by William & Mary at home last week in their first game of the season (they needed a late rally to come back from one run down). The Gators did complete the sweep against William & Mary however, and the last two games of the series were very strong showings for Florida. UF is in a very similar positon as the Hurricanes, with youth filling in a lot of roles for their club, but have slightly more experience overall.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes come into the series confident in both of their arms for the first two games of the series. Jesse Lepore completely dominated Rutgers in his first weekend start on Friday, and Jeb Bargfeldt had a very strong outing on Saturday. Hurricanes fans will no doubt harbor some fears for Michael Mediavilla’s start on Sunday however, but at least some of the blame for his poor start can be attributed to poor defense behind him. It also appears as if Canes’ fans can be confident in their two main arms out of the bullpen, as Andrew Cabezas and Frankie Bartow both pitched very well over the weekend. The staff will have to perform this weekend for the Hurricanes to come out on the good side of the series, and I fully expect them to do so.

This weekend series presents a HUGE opportunity for the Hurricanes to prove that they can play with anyone in the nation. It will undoubtedly be a tough series for the Hurricanes, but if the defense and pitching staff perform to their best abilities the Hurricanes should come out of this series with a happy result. I expect all of the games to be close, but I think the Canes’ strong pitching staff will prevail in the end.

Prediction: Canes win the series, 2-1.

Series Info:

Game 1:

Date & Time: Friday, February 24, 6:30 P.M Eastern

Hurricanes Starter: Jesse Lepore (1-0)

Radio: WVUM 90.5

Television: SEC Network+

Game 2:

Date & Time: Saturday, February 25, 6:30 P.M Eastern

Hurricanes Starter: Jeb Bargfeldt (1-0)

Radio: WVUM 90.5

Television: SEC Network+

Game 3:

Date & Time: Sunday, February 26, 1:00 P.M Eastern

Hurricanes Starter: Michael Mediavilla (0-1)

Radio: WVUM 90.5

Television: SEC Network+

Tell us how you think this week will go in the comments below!