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A Look at the 2019 Hurricanes Baseball Schedule

As always the Hurricanes will play one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2019, here’s a close look at some important series.

Tony Capobianco/State of The U

In Gino DiMare’s first season he’ll coach a Hurricanes team that once again plays one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Traditionally the ACC is one of the best conferences in America, and that should be no different in 2019, not to mention a non-conference schedule that includes series against Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, and Florida Atlantic. Here’s a closer look at some of the most crucial series on the schedule.

Weekend Series

At No.6 Florida Gators, February 22-24

2017 Division I Men’s College World Series - Florida v LSU - Game 2 Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Florida Gators have turned into a perennial powerhouse, and year after year the in-state rivalry between these two schools with storied baseball tradition has gotten more and more intense. This year, with Miami looking to prove it will be a contender in the ACC, things may get even more heated when the Hurricanes take a trip to Alfred A. McKethan stadium on the second weekend of the season.

Florida is coming off a 49-21 season in 2018 that saw a run all the way to the College World Series, where they were eliminated by eventual national runner-ups Arkansas. This year the Gators will again be one of America’s best teams, and will look to a lot of youth playing in bigger roles after the departure of some key contributors to last year’s success.

These games will almost certainly be close, as they always are, and considering the strength of both teams are their pitching staffs it could be a low-scoring series. It’ll be a tough test for the Hurricanes, especially without home field advantage.

Prediction: Florida wins the series; 2-1.

Vs No.17 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, March 8-10

Georgia Tech has consistently improved as a program over the last several years, having morphed from perennial mediocrity into a perennial contender in the ACC Coastal. This series could be one of the most important three-game sets on the Hurricanes’, and Yellow Jackets’, schedule. It is the first ACC series of the year for both teams, and it’ll be a battle between two talented programs to get off on the right step in conference play.

A preseason Top-20 team; Georgia Tech returns much of a roster that went 31-21 last season. Including one of the ACC’s best starting pitchers in Xzavion Curry. Seven starters remain in Atlanta off of last year’s dangerous club, and they’re hungry for more success in 2019.

For Miami, this series is a massive early season test. It will also serve as a measuring stick to see just how competitive the Hurricanes are with the best teams in the ACC. Despite coming early in the season, the importance of this weekend can not be overstated for either team, expect a battle Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Mark Light Field

Prediction: Miami wins the series; 2-1.

At No.8 North Carolina Tar Heels, March 15-17

NCAA Men’s College World Series

The Tar Heels have become a perennial power in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2019 they bring back a talented roster that won 44 games in 2018, and that lost just eight games in conference play. They, much like the Gators, made a run to the College World Series, losing to national champions Oregon State twice to get knocked out of the tournament.

North Carolina is an extremely well led, and highly talented, program. They are traditionally, Miami’s biggest threat in the Coastal Division of the ACC, and that should be no different this year. This series in Chapel Hill could go a long way to determining who takes the division at the end of the season.

This series will be a huge one for Miami, it will be a big test in conference play, and it will be a true marker of how competitive the Hurricanes will be in 2019. Once again Miami faces the disadvantage of playing on the road, and they’ll need to rise to the occasion.

Prediction: North Carolina wins the series; 2-1.

Vs No.22 North Carolina State Wolfpack, March 22-24

The very next week the Hurricanes will face another talented team from North Carolina. The Wolfpack are one of the most talented teams of the ACC’s Atlantic Division, with a 42-18 record in 2018 that saw NCSU host a regional where they were eliminated by Auburn.

This year N.C. State should be one of the best teams in the ACC once again. N.C. State has high hopes for a 2019 season that sees them compete with Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville for the division crown.

This series wraps up a brutal three-series stretch where Miami faces Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and the Wolfpack to start conference play. Miami needs to play well in this series, along with the two prior to it, to get off to a good start in the ACC; something that has eluded Miami in the previous two seasons.

Prediction: Miami wins the series; 2-1.

Vs No.10 Florida State Seminoles, April 5-7

NCAA Baseball: Troy at Florida State Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

The first weekend of April sees one of the best programs in the nation, and one of Miami’s biggest rivals, visit Mark Light Field. It’ll be the final time long-time Seminoles’ Head Coach Mike Martin coaches against the Hurricanes, and Gino DiMare will look to ruin his last visit to Coral Gables.

Florida State returns a lot of experience from a team that went 43-19 last season. The Seminoles aim to make up for missed opportunities this season, driven by a hunger to make amends for a walk-off loss to Mississippi State that ended Mike Martin and the the Seminoles’ 2018 season without a national championship yet again.

For Miami, this series is a chance for Gino DiMare to make a statement in front of his home crowd. He and his team will go head to head with a college baseball legend in Mike Martin, and a series win here would be a great moment in DiMare’s first season.

Prediction: Florida State wins the series; 2-1.

At No.9 Louisville Cardinals, April 18-20

Louisville is one of the finest baseball programs in America. Head Coach Dan McDonnell leads one of the most consistently competitive teams in the nation. In 2019 the Cardinals are looking to make a return to Omaha on the back of one of the most talented rosters in the country.

Last year the Cardinals were 45-19, but this season they should only improve upon that record. UL has completely reloaded their roster, and should find themselves in a battle with Florida State and Clemson for the ACC Atlantic Division crown.

This is another huge chance for Miami to make a statement of legitimacy to the college baseball world. However, Jim Patterson Stadium is a notoriously difficult place to play. Miami is a young team, and they’ll need to mature fast and learn from mistakes made earlier in the season to have success in Kentucky in late April.

Prediction: Louisville wins the series; 2-1.

Vs No.20 Duke Blue Devils, May 16-18

Duke is another ACC program that has improved immensely over the last few seasons. In 2019 they’ll look to build off a 2018 season that saw them come one win away from a trip to Omaha. Because it comes in the last week of the season, this series could have a huge impact on the way the ACC Coastal Division standings turn out.

Duke has to replace a lot of talent in 2019. A strong recruiting class and younger players moving into larger roles should see the Blue Devils reload rather than rebuild this upcoming season. Not to mention that Duke sports one of the most talented pitching staffs in the ACC.

This weekend could turn into one of the most important three-game stretches of the season for both teams. If it turns out that both teams contend for the ACC crown this year, as expected, then this final series of the season could have a huge impact on seeding for the ACC Tournament.

Prediction: Miami wins the series; 2-1.

Mid-Week Series

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

The Eagles are one of America’s best mid-major teams. They should find themselves once again in place to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, and they’ll present a challenge every time Miami has to play them in the middle of the week this season.

Florida Gulf Coast has a tradition of strong pitching, and that should be no different in 2019. Expect these matchups to be low-scoring pitchers duels. With teams like Florida Gulf Coast on the schedule, it highlights just how focused the ‘Canes will have to be in order to prevent the mid-week struggles that have seemed so unshakable over the last two years.

Miami needs to play their best every time they play FGCU. Mid-week games affect your whole week. It is extremely difficult to have a positive week without winning the mid-week game. Focus and consistency are the keys to success on Wednesdays for Miami.

Prediction: Miami wins the series; 2-1.

Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic is yet another program that has consistently improved over the last several seasons. The Owls always look to play their best against Miami, and this season will be no different. FAU will put their best on the field to beat the Hurricanes and make a statement to the nation.

Miami and FAU faced off in an exhibition game before the season, which Miami won 12-4. While that game may have seemed easy for the Hurricanes, the last few seasons have been anything but for Miami against FAU; Miami has gone just 3-3 against the Owls over that stretch.

Florida Atlantic provides yet another example of why Miami must bring their best during the week and not just on the weekends. The Hurricanes quite simply can not afford to drop mid-week games any longer, and Gino DiMare will need to remind his team of that to avoid a similar fate to the one suffered in 2017 and 2018.

Prediction: Miami wins the series; 2-1.

Miami will play one of America’s most difficult schedules in 2019. The ACC is the most talented it has been in several years, and there is truly no weekend where the Hurricanes can let their guard down. The Hurricanes’ youth will have to find consistency and poise to face a schedule that has very few easy weeks.