The Hurricane baseball team (14-10, 2-4) will attempt to make a statement in the ACC this weekend when they travel to Charlottesville, VA to face No.5 Virginia (20-4, 3-3).
Miami bounced back after being swept by North Carolina by taking two of three against Maryland this past weekend.
Miami has won four out of its last five, aided by strong starting pitching.
In their last two starts, Garcia has gone a combined 12 innings, allowing only one earned run, while Santana has thrown 10 2/3 innings and has surrendered two earned runs.
The ‘Canes will need more consistency this weekend to take the series from Virginia. Miami did not score until the seventh inning in each of the past two games, after posting 13 runs in the series opener against Maryland.
Miami’s bottom of the order carried the offense this weekend, with centerfielder Blake Tekotte, shortstop Ryan Jackson and catcher Jason Hagerty collectively recording 17 hits.
Tekotte has gone 8-for-15 with four RBIs dating back to Tuesday.
“I have been seeing the ball well, trying to hit the ball opposite field or up the middle a little bit more and not pulling off like I was,” Tekotte said. “It’s been working out and I have to keep getting better.”
Miami, who has dropped road series against Florida and North Carolina, will face a Virginia squad that is 13-0 at home.
Despite losing two of three against Wake Forest to start ACC play, Virginia’s confidence is high after winning a series on the road against No.1 UNC. The Cavaliers followed that up with an 11-1 victory at Richmond on Tuesday.
Miami will go up against the hottest hitter in the ACC, designated hitter Greg Miclat, who is on a 15-game hitting streak while leading the team with 18 stolen bases.
Virginia has a balanced lineup, with four starters batting above .400 on the year.
Mujch of the Cav’s success can be attributed to starting pitching, highlighted by righthander Jacob Thompson (5-0, 1.98) and lefthander Sean Doolittle (4-1, 3.24), who also plays first base and hits in the middle of the order.
Thompson threw an impressive seven innings, allowing only one run against the Tar Heels. Despite throwing four innings the following game, Doolittle carried the offense by going 4-for-5 with two RBIs in the win.
Tekotte believes the lineup needs to execute better against the Cavaliers pitching staff.
“All three starters pitched well [against Maryland]and all three should have had a win,” Tekotte said. “We have to pick it up for them.”
Alex Kushel may be contacted at email@example.com.