After losing two-in-a-row to Florida State late April, the Canes topped the Noles, 12-0 in game three, pounded Pittsburgh on the road—9-5, 12-0 and 9-3, blanked Bethune-Cookman, 14-0 and straight-up abused NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) this weekend—26-0, 13-1 and 19-1 on Sunday afternoon.
While completion was laughable these past three days, fact remains that Miami’s bats have been on fire since the Florida State finale—which is precisely what good teams experience as conference championships, regionals and the post-season get underway.
Against the Panthers in the opening game last weekend, the Canes trailed, 5-4 in the top of the ninth, put together a five-run inning and rallied for a, 9-5 comeback victory.
Miami wound up sending all nine batters to the plate that inning. Zack Collins tripled. Willie Abreu roped an RBI double. Garret Kennedy drove one home by way of a fielder’s choice and Brandon Lopez knocked one in with a sacrifice fly—all with one out after George Iskenderian appeared to have brought Christopher Barr home, but the redshirt sophomore was thrown out at the plate.
The following night, a spirited 13-hit effort—including a six-run ninth inning, en route to the 12-0 victory.
Collins homered, had two hits, three runs and five RBI, while Lopez got two hits and drove in a run. Kennedy got the action started early with a shot into right field, driving in Ricky Eusebio from second, after he drew a walk to get on base.
Collins and Lopez did their part in the second, as well—patiently drawing walks and setting the stage for Carl Chester to bring both home with an infield single.
Come Sunday, a 14-hit affair as Miami rolled, 9-3. Collins smashed two home runs as the Canes started fast—up 3-0 after two—and closed strong, as well, with two runs in the ninth.
Iskenderian got the action started with a solo shot in the first. Kennedy then singled and was driven home by a double from David Thompson. Eusebio kept it flowing in the second with an RBI single that scored Lopez, who opened the inning with a double.
The hits continued days later against Bethune-Cookman, where Miami strung together 12 hits in the win, got of too a hot start and added to a 7-0 lead with a five-run fifth inning—never letting up.
Collins had another two-hit outing, with two RBI and a run, while Kennedy was good for two hits, a run and three RBI—including a bases-clearing double—while Thompson also blasted his twelfth home run of the season.
Regarding the three-game series against NYIT, almost batting practice-like as the Canes teed off against the Bears; scoring 58 runs over three games. Miami had a whopping 24 hits in 26 runs in game one and things stayed on a roll through Sunday afternoon.
Next up for the Canes, a Tuesday night game home showdown against Florida Atlantic before a three-game series against Georgia Tech at The Light, starting Thursday.
The Yellow Jackets are currently 32-18 on the season and 13-14 in the ACC, having taken two-of-three from Pittsburgh this weekend in Atlanta. Next up, a Tuesday night match-up against Georgia before heading to South Florida.
Miami currently sits atop the Coastal Division standings and is primed to be a two-seed in the upcoming conference tournament, only trailing Louisville, who is 23-4 in the ACC after Sunday’s comeback win against Florida State, where the Cards won the rubber match and took the series, clinching the Atlantic Division crown.
For Miami, the recipe remains simple as with four regular season games remaining. Bats must stay hot, pitching has to stay consistent and the Canes have to remember who they are.
Georgia Tech isn’t a formidable foe—having struggled in conference all season, while beating a handful of lesser team en route to those 32 wins. Miami needs to take the series, at minimum.
Roll into Greensboro hot, take it as far as it can go, prepare for a home Regional. hope for a Super and keep those Omaha dreams in tact.
This isn’t Miami’s best team in history by any stretch, but it hasn’t always been the top Canes teams that have reached Omaha, or made noise upon their arrival.
College baseball is all about getting streaky at the right time and to The U’s credit, stars have aligned these past few weeks and the Canes could be primed to make some noise in the coming weeks.