Baseball, Basketball, Tennis

No competition during Rivalry Weekend

Bragging rights usually last a year until the next football game comes around.

But when the athletic department advertised upcoming instate match ups as “Rivalry Weekend,” all bets were off.

With both Florida and Florida State in Coral Gables, the University of Miami had the perfect opportunity to defend its home turf in baseball, men’s basketball and men’s tennis.

Too bad the teams didn’t receive the memo.

Things got off to a rough start when the 10th-ranked Hurricanes forgot how to put the ball in play in a 7-1 loss against the 5th-ranked Gators.

Fifteen strikeouts and two hits later head coach Jim Morris and the Canes left Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field frustrated.

On Saturday, the Seminoles held off a Canes rally for a 61-60 win at the BankUnited Center, where the crowd bordered 50/50 in its allegiance.

While FSU improved to 22-8 (10-6 ACC) under former UM head coach Leonard Hamilton, Miami dropped to 18-12 (4-12) and fell into last place in the 12-team conference.

It wasn’t any better for the 39th-ranked men’s tennis team, which fell 5-2 in a match to the 19th-ranked Noles.

Florida State clinched the victory with three singles and one doubles win before Miami even got on the scoreboard.

“FSU has a really solid squad there,” head coach Mario Rincon said. “They’re very deep. I think they’re one of the best teams in the ACC. We were exposed to a few things that we need to improve and work on.”

Of the nine team sports that both FSU and UM compete in, the Seminoles hold a better record in seven of them.

The two exceptions?

Football and women’s tennis.

In the first game of the gridiron season, a dropped ball in the end zone was the difference. In the final 60 minutes of the season, the Seminoles won in a superior bowl game.

Florida, who eliminated the Hurricanes in last year’s NCAA Gainesville Regional and seemingly have no baseball history, sent right-hander Tommy Toledo and left-hander Kevin Chapman to the mound for a 4-2 win in Sunday’s rubber game.

Junior college transfer and outfielder Chris Pelaez went 5-for-11 in the series, but the team collected just 17 total hits for a .181 batting average.

Although new to the team, the Miami native realized how important beating a rival is.

“Being from down here you know about the rivalry from Florida/Florida State, and we don’t like each other too much and just being a part of it is just great,” Pelaez said. “The fans and the atmosphere are incredible.”

Keeping track at home?

The possession arrow is in the rivals’ favor until Oct. 9 and fall 2013, respectively.

March 7, 2010

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Christina De Nicola Editor In Chief


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