#17 Miami celebrates after securing series over Georgia Tech.                                           					          UMAthletics

#17 Miami celebrates after securing series over Georgia Tech.

The record setting accomplishments of both the Women’s and Men’s Basketball teams and a personal break by your litterateur have contributed to Canes Corner’s Hurricane Baseball coverage being on hiatus for a while. This week we will try to bring you up to date.

A trip to Omaha to compete in the College World Series is always the main goal for historically successful baseball programs.

The University of Miami is among the elite with 25 College World Series appearances, four national championships (1982,1985,1999,2001) and a record 44 consecutive NCAA regional appearances.

There are three important numbers on the road to Omaha, 64, 16 and 8.

Sixty-four teams are selected by the NCAA to complete in sixteen regionals. The winners of those regionals compete in 8 head to head super-regionals and eight teams advance to the College World Series.

The Canes had a slow start to ACC play this year but have recently righted the ship winning three of the last four conference series.

Miami swept Florida State, lost the series to Virginia in Charlottesville then took two of three at North Carolina and at home against Georgia Tech this past weekend.

Miami’s record to date is 25-15 overall and 12-9 in the ACC.

There are numerous college baseball weekly polls but the NCAA’s D-1 weekly poll is by far the most important (they choose who plays in the tournament), so we will reference both the D-1 poll and the recently released NCAA Bracket Predictor.

The Canes are #16 in this weeks poll up one spot. The Bracket Predictor has Miami as the #14 seed and host to the Coral Gables regional.

Miami travels to Louisville for three games this weekend, hosts non-conference opponent Presbyterian May 6th-8th, plays FIU May 10th (H), is at Pittsburgh May 12th-14th, at FIU May16th and closes regular season play against Duke at home May 18th - 20th.

The ACC Tournament will be held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC on May 23rd - 28th.

The Hurricanes are currently one-half game behind Duke in the ACC Coastal Division and tied for third in the conference overall standings.

The conference tournament is limited to the top 12 teams who are divided into four groups of three. Group winners meet in semis and winners play for the championship. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show will be televised on ESPN2 at noon on Monday, May 29th.

Eight teams are designated as National Seeds and have the advantage of playing all the regional  and super-regional games at home in their quest for a trip to Omaha. Seeds 9-16 host regionals at home. Seeds 17-64 play on the road. Miami needs to hold on to a top 16 seed for a decent shot at Omaha. A top 8 seed remains a possibility and could happen with series wins the next four weekends and reaching the ACC Tournament final.

Miami’s offense has been strong this year.

Pre-season All-American Jr 3B Yohandy Morales is the team leader is hitting .359 with 55 H , 32 R , 8 HR and 38 RBI. Freshman 2B Blake Cyr has been a revelation batting .306 with a team leading 11 HR and 39 RBI. Transfer OF/DH Ian Farrow and 1B CJ Kayfus both carry .315 averages and have 7 HR. Carlos Perez has held down the Catcher position and is second in HR with10. OFs Zach Levenson and Edgardo Villegas and SS Dominic Pitelli have kept this a strong lineup top to bottom.

The team is hitting .290 overall with 76 HRs. Pitching has been a different story. Set up man Alejandro Torres and closer Andrew Walters have been near invincible. Both are 3-0. Walters has an 1.48 ERA with 44 K and 4 BB in 24.1 innings. Torres has 43 K with 7 BB and a 3.71 ERA in 34 innings.

The problem for Miami has been starting, long and middle relief pitching. In the Canes nine ACC losses they have given up 14 runs twice, 11 and 9 twice. Stellar closing can’t help without leads.

That said, starters Gage Ziehl and Karson Ligon have shown impressive recent form. To finish the season strong and have success in tournament play Miami will need drastic improvement from Alejandro Rosario who has an 8.93 ERA in 10 starts or weekday starters Ben Chestnutt or Ronaldo Gallo to step up to the task. Anything is possible in college baseball.

With a great month the Canes could be a top 8 seed and if the next few weeks don’t go Miami’s way they could be traveling to a regional.

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Men’s Basketball - Jordan Miller has graduated and will likely be an NBA draft pick. Isaiah Wong has declared for the NBA draft and will not be returning to Miai.

Wong will also likely be drafted. Norchad Omier has entered the NBA draft but retains his eligibility to return to Miami for next season.

Over 300 college players have entered the NBA draft this season, the vast majority will retain eligibility and return to college.

Harlond Beverly has transferred to Wichita State. Senior Anthony Walker and Sophomores Favour Aire and Danilo Jovanovich have entered the transfer portal.

Sophomores AJ Casey , Chris Watson, Redshirt Sophomore Jakai Robinson, Juniors Bensley Joseph, Wooga Poplar and Nijel Pack return.

Two HS recruits are committed. Reports say Michael Nwoko a 6’10” forward from Burlington, NC lit up the Nike Hoop Summit last weekend against the top HS All-Star players. Keshawn George a 6’6” guard from Monthey, Switzerland who plays in France will also be joining Miami.

Miami’s coaches are actively working the transfer portal and there should be more news in the next couple of weeks.

Canes Corner will update Women’s Basketball roster changes in next weeks column. Football and Men’s Basketball updates will include any and all significant news.

Be well all and Go Canes!

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