Sort of seems to be the theme for the Miami Hurricanes baseball program the past few years; a lot of middle of the road, peppered with some decent highs and way-too-many lows.
Florida State trekked south this past weekend. The Seminoles roll on. Mike Martin at the helm, still win-less when it comes to national championships, but seemingly keeping his program on a roll and in the hunt annually.
FSU entered this weekend ranked fifth in the nation – a 25-4 overall record and 8-4 in ACC play – while UM limped in, 20-12 overall and 5-7 in conference, having dropping five of its past six, including losses to Virginia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Virginia and Bethune-Cookman.
Game One showed promise. Scoreless through four and a half, Miami got two in the bottom of the fifth and held the lead until the top of the eighth, when Florida State got two and tied things up.
The formula? Errors, of course. The Canes fell apart defensively, allowing momentum to shift and the better team to do what better teams do.
Offensively, UM didn’t respond in the top of the ninth, either. Strike out. Walk. Fly-out. Strike out. Sit down.
FSU? They just rolled out, got two, stretched the lead to two with a few clutch hits and a stolen base.
Miami’s bottom of the ninth answer? Ground out. Ground out. Single. Ground out. Thanks for coming out.
The schizophrenic nature that plagues this team resulted in a positive effect Game Two as the Canes rolled and the Noles chose to fold.
Miami got one in the first, third and fourth before a three-run fifth. Up 6-0 after five, the rest of the game was a formality.
The Canes had eight hits to the Noles’ six and the pitching was beyond impressive as Bryan Radziewski went seven innings, giving up four hits and striking out eight. Eric Whaley came in for two, giving up two hits, striking out one and closing out a scoreless affair.
After giving one away and then forcefully taking the second one, it’d be east to think that Miami would know what was on the line regarding the current climate of the program and in need of a late-season jump, would come to play in Sunday’s rubber match.
True to the schizo nature of the squad, Sunday was the antithesis of Saturday’s home cooking and rout. Miami fell 5-1 in game three, losing the series in ugly fashion.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, Florida State responded with two in the second and third and a final run in the fourth, leading up to five scoreless innings for the Seminoles, while the Hurricanes were shut down after the opening series.
Errors were again the name of the game, with UM posting three. The Canes also left four on base (the Noles, seven, which shows this could’ve been a worse beating).
Andrew Suarez was beat up pretty good, going four innings and giving up eight hits and charged with all five runs. Thomas Woodrey and AJ Salcines closed strong, giving up two hits total in five innings, but Miami bats went cold after the second, picking up three hits, but stranding two on base.
UM then went four innings without a hit, picked up one in both the seventh and eighth, but was shut down in the ninth.
One run in the first and two hits the game’s final seven innings – against Florida State, at home, in a winner-takes-all series-defining showdown. Disheartening to say the least.
Next up for Miami. a Wednesday home showdown against Stetson before heading to College Park for a three-game stand against Maryland next weekend.
Next up for allCanesBlog; some real-talk regarding the state of Miami baseball. Stay tuned.