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This Week in ‘Canes Baseball: May 15 Edition

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The Hurricanes have their biggest week of the season ahead.

Richard Lewis / Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes are 25-25 (14-13 ACC) after a 4-0 record last week. Miami is at .500 for the first time since March 30, and they have a hugely important week ahead to try and maximize their win total heading into the ACC Tournament, and, eventually, into their resume for selection into the NCAA Tournament.

Fortunately, Miami’s four games this week all come at home. First with a challenge against No.17 Stetson Tuesday. Followed by their final ACC series of the year against a struggling Boston College team. This weekend will see the last home game for both Jim Morris and Miami’s senior class. UM needs to use that energy to capitalize on their chances this week.

In other news, the Hurricanes clinched their berth in the ACC Tournament on Saturday. Miami now looks to improve their seeding for a tournament that they’ll need to make some noise in...

Mid-Week Game: Vs No.17 Stetson

The Hurricanes toughest test will come Tuesday against Stetson. The Hatters are having a fantastic season, and they just clinched the Atlantic Sun baseball championship last weekend. At 40-11 on the season Stetson is trying to compete for a chance to be a host team in the NCAA Tournament, and a road win vs an ACC opponent could help improve their resume.

Meanwhile, Miami is looking for a resume building win as well. At 59 in RPI, the Hurricanes have some work to do to gain some breathing space, and a win over such a highly touted team could do wonders for the ‘Canes. Additionally, Miami needs to win all of their remaining games in the regular season, and probably a few in the ACC Tournament, if they want any chance at an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament.

Things will definitely not come easy for the Hurricanes in this game. Stetson will likely send Joey Gonzalez to the mound in this game. The junior is 7-3 with a 1.79 ERA on the season. He’s been dominant in most of his starts, and he will bring a level of pitching that will truly test just how far Miami’s offense has come.

The Hatters will also bring a lot of talent up to the plate in the game. Jacob Koos leads Stetson in nearly every major offensive statistical category, and he provides the spark in the Hatters’ lineup. The Hurricanes will also have to watch out for senior Nico Torino, who can be a serious threat to put balls in an alley for a double or triple.

While Stetson has no one who is statistically amazing at the plate, they get consistent production throughout the whole lineup. They try to make every out difficult, and when they do get a few runs, they shut you down with a fantastic pitching staff.

Miami will have to find a way to plate runs in this game, and if the ‘Canes want to win, they’ll need their pitching staff to be prepared for a duel.

Prediction: Stetson Wins, 2-1.

Game Info

Date & Time: Tuesday, May 15, 6:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Andrew Cabezas (6-4, 4.12 ERA)

Stetson Starter: Joey Gonzalez (7-3, 1.79 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Weekend Series: Vs Boston College

The Hurricanes final ACC series of the year comes against one of the teams that has struggled the most in conference play. The Eagles won’t be playing in the conference or NCAA tournament, but they will look to show some pride this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

BC, much like Miami, doesn’t hit very many homeruns. However, the Eagles are led by three very dangerous players that are a threat to get on base nearly every at bat; Chris Galland, Jake Palomaki, and Brian Dempsey. The trio combines for a .319 batting average, and they have the capability of stringing hits together and scoring runs on you right from the start. However, once you get past those three, BC only has one other regular starter batting over .270 on the season. In fact, the Eagles’ team batting average is second worst in the ACC, and, at just 14 homeruns on the season, they’ve knocked the fewest balls out of the park of any ACC team.

Unfortunately for the Eagles things don’t get much better on the mound. BC has the third worst team ERA in the ACC, ahead of just Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. It would be second worst if Miami hadn’t scored 33 runs against the Hokies last weekend. Boston College has just four pitchers with an ERA below four on the season. If Miami can get to their bullpen early and often, just like they did in Blacksburg last week, it could be a long three days for the visitors from the northeast.

Miami, meanwhile, has seen a rapid improvement of play in the last few weeks. The Hurricanes now have five regular starters batting over .280 on the season, and no player that typically starts has a batting average under .200 as of right now. The last few weeks have seen the emergence of Ray Gil from a below .200 hitter to a player that has pushed his average all the way up to .237 on the season. Not to mention improvement from Romy Gonzalez and the much needed return of star transfer Danny Reyes. As a result, the Miami lineup has become extremely dangerous for opposing pitchers. They have a capability to string hits and walks together to score runs and create rallies that drive up a pitcher’s pitch count and force errors in high-pressure situations.

On the other hand, Miami’s pitching staff has struggled a bit in the past few weeks compared to their early season success. It’s important for them to get back on track as we play through the final stretch of the season. Miami needs to keep winning, and to do that they’ll need to have a confident pitching staff.

Miami has the talent and momentum to get a third sweep in a row in this series. They’ll need to do just that in order to add wins to their total to put themselves in a spot to make the NCAA Tournament. With a win streak at eight games already, the ‘Canes need to put together a 4-0 week and extend it out to twelve games. With a goal to add a few more on come this time next week in the ACC Tournament.

Prediction: Miami sweeps BC, takes series 3-0.

Game Info

Game 1

Date & Time: Thursday, May 17, 7:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Jeb Bargfeldt (3-4, 3.53 ERA)

Boston College Starter: Jacob Stevens (3-6, 5.09 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Game 2

Date & Time: Friday, May 18, 7:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Evan McKendry (6-6, 3.81 ERA)

Boston College Starter: Dan Metzdorf (1-7, 5.87 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Game 3

Date & Time: Saturday, May 19, 1:00 PM

Hurricanes Starter: Chris McMahon (1-1, 4.44 ERA)

Boston College Starter: Brian Rapp (3-5, 3.57 ERA)

Television: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM