Hurricanes have done well on road this season

The Miami Hurricanes are used to playing Regionals and Super Regionals at home. But this season they traveled to Lincoln, Neb., and won a Regional, while this weekend they are in Oxford for the Super Regional.

Miami comes to town with an impressive resume' for a college baseball program. Only a handful of programs are in an elite group who know their way around Omaha, Neb., like the Hurricanes do.

With 21 appearances in the College World Series, only programs like Southern Cal, Texas, and Arizona State, can boast of such postseason heritage. The Canes have made 34 straight apperances in the NCAA Tournament and along the way won four national titles.

The Hurricanes, 39-21 overall, and the Ole Miss Rebels, 43-20, will meet to advance to the CWS this weekend at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. Games are Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 6 p.m., and an "if" game Monday at 6 p.m.

The Hurricanes' last appearance in Omaha was just two seasons ago. Most predictions didn't have Miami with a chance to make it this season. Some polls didn't have them ranked in the preseason.

But some players stepped up and helped the Hurricanes to a solid season. Miami played as an independent in baseball for years until recently joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. This season was the second for the Canes in ACC baseball play.

One of the young but talented players is freshman second baseman Jemile Weeks. He hit .583 with four doubles and four RBIs in the Lincoln Regional and was named MVP. On the season Weeks is hitting .346 with three homers and 32 RBIs as the Hurricanes' leadoff man.

Outfielder Jon Jay, who was drafted in second round by the St. Louis Cardinals, leads the Hurricanes with a .361 average. He also has six home runs, 41 RBIs, 70 runs scored and 28 stolen bases in 33 attempts this season.

Miami has been a better road team than home team this season, so playing in Oxford won't be a huge disadvantage for them. Miami is 13-6 on the road this year (.684 percent) and 4-2 in neutral sites, compared to a 22-13 home record (.628).

Miami started the year 6-6 but won 17 straight to move to 23-6 early in the ACC season. The Hurricanes ended the year winning three of their last five conference series and four of the last six series overall.

Sophomore lefty Scott Maine (11-3, 4.37 ERA) will take the hill for the Hurricanes on Saturday. Junior Danny Gil (3-2, 3.11 ERA) and sophomore lefty Manny Miguelez (8-4, 4.01 ERA) will be Miami's candidates to start Game two.

Miami will practice late this afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field. We'll have a report up tonight on the Hurricanes, their thoughts on being in Oxford, and additional comments from their post-practice news conference.

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