The longest streak of NCAA Baseball Regional appearances is over. After 44 consecutive years, the Miami Hurricanes were left out of the NCAA Baseball tournament for the first time since 1971.
Following consecutive 50-win seasons that ended wit appearances in the 2015 and 2016 College World Series’, Miami sputtered to a 31-27 (16-13 in ACC) record in 2017. There were issues with this team seemingly from the beginning of the season, and as one leak was plugged, a new one sprung. And on and on it went.
Miami made a valiant effort toward the end of the year. Faced with must win games, the Canes swept VT in the final regular-season series (including a 10th inning walk-off HR by Edgar Michelangeli in the finale), and advanced to the Semi-Finals of the ACC Tournament.
In the ACC semi-final, Miami sprinted out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning against #2 ranked North Carolina. That was about the only happy time for Miami on the day, as the Tar Heels rebounded to win the game 12-4.
On Sunday, Miami saw several teams who wouldn’t have otherwise made the NCAA tournament steal bids by winning their conference tourneys. With those 5 non-NCAA teams stealing bids, the margin for a bubble team such as Miami became razor thin. And, today, that margin was eliminated.
Miami is still a premium program, and the Canes have a top 3 baseball recruiting class for 2017. But, right now, while we Canes fans should appreciate the fight this team showed all the way to the last game of the season, there can be nothing but disappointment in the fact that the longest streak of consecutive regional appearances has come to an end.
Better luck next year.