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This Week in ‘Canes Baseball: March 9 Edition

The Hurricanes have a tough week ahead of them.

Credit: Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes enter the fourth week of the 2021 season with a 5-4 (3-3 ACC) record. Miami started the season with a series win over preseason No.1 Florida before losing a series to Virginia Tech and then recovering with a series win over NC State last weekend. The Hurricanes face a tough week ahead with a mid-week matchup against No.20 FAU and then a weekend series against a talented Wake Forest team.

Miami moved up slightly in the polls after their first ACC series win of the season last weekend:

The Hurricanes are fifth in the ACC Coastal Division after their up-and-down start to the season. Miami also remains in the bottom half of almost every statistical category in the conference, especially offensively. The Hurricanes are batting just .233 so far this season, which ranks 11th in the conference, and Miami’s slugging percentage sits at just .342, which is 12th in the ACC. The Hurricanes had good offensive days on Saturday and Sunday against NC State, and that will need to continue through this week and the rest of the season.

Miami’s pitching also continues to be inconsistent. The Hurricanes team ERA is 5.10 and most of that is due to an opponent batting average of .259 because the Hurricanes have walked only 31 batters this season. Miami is allowing far too much contact, and when they do, other teams have taken advantage as the Hurricanes have given up 13 homeruns already this season, second worst in the conference.

The Hurricanes start this week with their first mid-week game of the season.


Mid-Week Game Vs No.20 Florida Atlantic Owls

Florida Atlantic v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Florida Atlantic has been one of the best teams in college baseball through the first few weeks of the season. On opening weekend the Owls won their series against the UCF Knights, and FAU has also swept Seton Hall and defeated No.5 Florida this season on their way to an 8-2 record so far.

At the plate FAU is led by Mitchell Hartigan and Nolan Schanuel. Hartigan is batting .375 and has 15 hits already this season including four doubles. Schanuel has three homeruns so far this year and is already up to 17 RBIs on the season. As a team, FAU bats .283 and has 17 home runs already through the first 10 games they have played.

TJ Stuart will start for Florida Atlantic. Stuart pitched for the Owls against Florida last week and worked four innings of two run baseball. He’s a talented pitcher and he’ll hope to be supported by the Owls excellent offense.

Miami has not officially announced a starter for Tuesday night’s game but it will likely be Jake Garland. Garland has pitched in relief of every single Friday night game so far this season for the Hurricanes. It’s possible that the Hurricanes could use Garland as an opener, much like they did last season during mid-week games before the season was cancelled.

Florida Atlantic is an extremely good team that will be looking for their second straight statement win during the week after defeating Florida last week. Miami will need to keep their offensive momentum going to win on Tuesday night.

Game Info

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 9, 6:00 p.m.

Hurricanes Starter: TBA

FAU Starter: TJ Stuart (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Television: ACC Network Extra


Weekend Series vs Wake Forest

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAR 04 UMass Lowell at Wake Forest Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wake Forest came into the season as a consensus top-25 team, but a couple of rough weeks to start the season has dropped them out of the polls. The Demon Deacons are just 3-4 (1-2 ACC) so far this season, but remain one of the most talented teams in the ACC.

This weekend marks the first time Wake Forest is scheduled to play since February 28 as they have been dealing with a pause of activities related to the coronavirus. Before their season was interrupted, the Demon Deacons started the year with a series win over Northeastern before losing to Coastal Carolina and dropping their first ACC series of the year against Notre Dame.

Sophomore Michael Turconi has been Wake’s best player so far this season. He’s batting .414 and has been one of the few consistent hitters on the team so far this season. Preseason All-American Bobby Seymour has struggled to start the year, batting just .185 with just one extra base hit so far in 2021. Standout Chris Lanzilli has helped make up for the absence of production from Seymour, with three homeruns so far this season, which leads the team.

Much like Miami, Wake Forest has not been good on offense at the start of the season. The Demon Deacons have just seven homeruns so far in 2021, one less than the Hurricanes eight. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the ACC in offense so far this season, although Wake Forest has played two less games than Miami.

Wake Forest’s pitching hasn’t been as good as expected so far this season. Preseason All-American Ryan Cusick has pitched to just a 5.56 ERA through two starts and as whole Wake Forest’s staff holds a 4.06 ERA. The Demon Deacons have also walked too many batters, with 32 walks allowed this season in just seven games.

Miami will hope to continue the offensive improvement they’ve had over their last couple games this weekend. The Hurricanes are led on offense by freshman Yohandy Morales who had two homeruns last Sunday against NC State and has the team lead with three overall. Adrian Del Castillo also had a better week at the plate and raised his batting average to .270 along with hitting his first homerun of the season on Sunday as Miami came back to win.

The Hurricanes pitching staff has been Miami’s biggest weakness so far this season. The Hurricanes bullpen has struggled to find shutdown innings outside of Carson Palmquist, who has four saves so far this season. Daniel Federman has also struggled, and he’s still looking for his first win as the Hurricanes’ Friday night starter.

Gino DiMare is still finding his best lineup and his best options in the bullpen, but Miami made progress last weekend with two of their best performances of the season on Saturday and Sunday. Wake Forest will present another tough challenge for the Hurricanes to overcome early in the year.

Series Info

Game 1

Date & Time: Friday, March 12, 7:00 p.m.

Hurricanes Starter: TBA

Wake Forest Starter: TBA

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Television: ACC Network Extra

Game 2

Date & Time: Saturday, March 13, 6:00 p.m.

Hurricanes Starter: TBA

Wake Forest Starter: TBA

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Television: ACC Network Extra

Game 3

Date & Time: Sunday, March 14, 1:00 p.m.

Hurricanes Starter: TBA

Wake Forest Starter: TBA

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Television: ACC Network Extra