Canes Swept by UVA

There is no other way to put it at this juncture. The Miami Hurricanes are in a free fall.

A season that began with such promise has really begun to slip away. First went the chances at being a top eight national seed. Then, hosting became out of the question. Now, the Hurricanes are looking at possibly being a three seed with a chance to fall out of the tournament completely if they don't start playing better baseball. They went into this past weekend against Virginia with a chance to stop their slide and with an impressive enough series win, they had a chance to put themselves back into the hosting conversation.

Instead, Virginia pushed their way into that conversation by sweeping the Canes.

The Cavaliers won the three games by the scores of 7-3, 7-4 and 7-4 and as the scores would indicate, all three games were pretty similar. The biggest similarity was that errors on defense killed Miami in each game. In game one on Saturday afternoon, Miami likely comes out of there with a win if it weren't for an unfortunate string of errors.

Miami starter Eric Erickson pitched well enough to win. He threw 5.1 innings, giving up only two earned runs. The problem is that he also had five unearned runs score against him.

Heading into the top of the sixth inning, Miami had a 3-2 lead, but an inning littered with Hurricane errors led to five runs being scored. That's all Virginia would need.

Miami didn't help matters at the plate by striking out 14 times. They only managed five hits as a team and they only had one player reach base in the last four frames.

On Sunday night, Miami suffered yet another come-from-ahead loss. The Canes scored four runs in the second inning, effectively ending Virginia starter Scott Silverstein's day.

It looked like UM might just be ready to break out, but those four runs would be all they would score. In relief of Silverstein, Shane Halley threw six scoreless innings, giving up two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Steven Ewing, starting one day early in place of the ill Eric Whaley, pitched well in the first two frames, but slowly came unraveled. By the end of his outing, he had given up five earned runs in five innings.

At that point, the Canes were very much in the game, but the defense again made the game all but out of reach. They allowed two unearned runs to score in the top half of the eighth inning, giving the Hurricanes very little chance to mount a comeback.

Monday was just more of the same and the game wasn't as close as the 7-4 final score would lead you to believe.

The Cavaliers had four runs by the end of the third inning and the rest of the game seemed like a mere formality.

UVA's starter, Artie Lewicki, was fantastic. He wasn't overpowering in any way, but he knew he didn't have to be. He pounded the strike zone, stayed ahead of hitters and forced the Hurricane hitters to beat him. Against a struggling offense, that's exactly what you need to do. When it was all said and done, Lewicki had thrown 6.1 innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs and just one walk.

Derek Fisher was the offensive star, going 3-for-5, but it was really a team performance for the Cavaliers. Only one starter, DH Kenny Towns, failed to get a base hit.

The Hurricane offense was anemic once again. They only managed four hits and one walk and Tyler Palmer's fourth home run of the season was the lone offensive highlight.

On the weekend, the Hurricanes collected 15 hits and made 14 errors. That's a glowing example of both terrible hitting and wretched defense . If the Hurricanes are going to make anything out of this season, performances like that are going to have to become a thing of the past.

Their chance to start to right the ship will come this weekend as they play a three-game set against non-conference foe Bethune-Cookman.


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