Gators Sweep Canes

The Miami Hurricanes baseball team would like to forget about this past weekend series with the Florida Gators.

In fact, the Canes would like to forget the entire recent history with the Gators baseball program. This weekend the Gators were more ready and poised for the big moments while the Canes looked lost. Situational hitting, late inning bullpen situations, and defense all favored the Gators. Simply put; the Gators looked like they had been there before. And in fact, they have.

There certainly were some positives to take from the series. On Saturday, the Canes chased one of the best pitchers in the country, Brian Johnson, out of the game after just 3 1/3 innings of work and five earned runs. Bryan Radziewski, who had sort of struggled so far this season, pitched a solid game on Sunday and gave the Canes a great opportunity to win. If it weren't for a complete collapse by Miami closer E.J. Encinosa in the 9th inning on Sunday, the Canes outcome wouldn't look nearly as bad.

As I stated in the preview for this series, there is no such thing as a moral victory for Miami baseball, but this is a team that should get better as the year goes on. They will not see better pitching than they did this past weekend and hopefully Jim Morris' club can get some confidence back. There is a reason that the Florida Gators are number one in every major college baseball poll.

I still believe this Miami team is one of the top 3 teams in the ACC and I think they will prove that in the weeks to come. I do not believe that Miami's pitching is nearly as bad as it appeared to be this weekend. Friday night consisted of several infield hits and bloop singles that just did not bounce Miami's way. Saturday had several defensive plays that needed to be made. And of course everyone knows what happened on Sunday. Eric Erickson and Eric Whaley are not going to get hit like they did very often. Encinosa is not going to look that bad. The Canes will build better bullpen depth.

The Miami offense had 11 hits Friday, 9 on Saturday, and 11 on Sunday. That is not bad considering the pitching the Hurricanes faced. The problem seems to still be situational hitting. As has been the case the past few seasons, the Canes still struggled to get base runners across the plate in key moments. Come postseason play, the difference between advancing and going home can be as simple as a sacrifice fly. Let's see if hitting coach Gino DiMare is able to fix this problem in the next couple weeks. The Canes will play the Marlins Tuesday night and will host Miami (OH) on Wednesday in Coral Gables. ACC play opens up this season with Miami hosting Boston College for a three game series.


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