Mistakes continue to plague Hurricanes

The hope with a college baseball team, or any other team for that matter, is that they get better and grow together as the season wears on. When you are just past the halfway point of the season, as we are right now in college baseball, you would normally expect to see a good team beginning to peak as the conference season gets into full swing.

Unfortunately for head coach Jim Morris and the Miami Hurricanes, that hasn't really been the case. The same fundamental mistakes that were rearing their ugly heads early on have persisted deeper into the season.

More often than not, you can get by with these types of miscues against the competition Miami has faced so far this season. Against teams like Rutgers, Albany and Boston College, the talent gap is just too big and generally the opponent makes just as many mistakes in those cases. But as we have seen in their series against stiffer competition like Florida and Clemson, those types of mistakes aren't going to fly all season. The better teams are going to make them pay in a big way.

The biggest problem has been the errors on defense. It was a concern coming into the season and those concerns remain. You can't give teams as many extra outs as Miami does and expect to be successful.

What's frustrating is that there is the potential for this to be a pretty solid defense. They go through stretches where they play pretty clean baseball, but those stretches usually end in a game where the defense falls apart like the Sunday game in the series against Maryland and the first two games of the series with Clemson. The fundamental mistakes haven't been limited to the defense, either. Baserunning has been as big a culprit of late.

As a team, the Hurricanes are 25-for-41 on stolen bases, a percentage well below what is accepted as a good stolen base percentage.

But the baserunning struggles go well beyond stolen bases. The game on Saturday against Clemson is a perfect example of baserunning miscues coming back to bite them. In that game alone, the Canes had several guys thrown out on the bases, including an in excusable pickoff of Dale Carey at third base.

The offense also hasn't been without fault. The raw numbers aren't all that bad. They are hitting .292 as a team with an on-base percentage of .392, but making contact has been a struggle at times. As a team, they have 232 strikeouts and they have had several games where their strikeout totals have been in double digits.

Nothing kills a rally like a strikeout with men in scoring position and because of their high strikeout totals, that's something the Hurricanes have found out the hard way.

This team is really talented. They have the pieces in place to make a deep run in the postseason. But if they don't clean up some of these issues sooner rather than later, that run might end before it even starts.


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