Baseball, Sports

Illinois State splits midweek series with struggling Canes

Sophomore Chantz Mack swings during the game against Illinois on Wednesday, March 9. Jessica Hodder//The Miami Hurricane

Jim Morris is back in the dugout, but the Canes are still struggling.

After missing the better part of the last two weeks recovering from surgery to remove his gall bladder, the veteran head baseball coach returned to see his team split a two-game series against Illinois State.

Miami (5-8) won Tuesday night’s opener against the Redbirds in extra innings 5-4, but fell on Wednesday night 9-2.

Miami struggled while Morris was out. During his absence the Canes were swept by Florida and fell out of the top 30 in all major polls for the first time since 1999.

“I’m depressed when I watch the games right now,” Morris said. “We’ve got to play the game better.”

In the eighth inning of Wednesday night’s game, Morris benched junior Harold Martinez, who is hitting below .200 on the season.

“He’s struggling… this is a big year for him. He’s got to get it done,” Morris said of Martinez, who led Miami with 21 home runs in 2010. “I told him [that]nobody feels sorry for him, nobody feels sorry for us.”

In Tuesday night’s win the Hurricanes produced arguably their most clutch hit of the season. With the game tied at four in the bottom of the 11th inning junior Rony Rodriguez drilled an 0-1 pitch over the wall for a walk-off home run.

“I wasn’t looking for a home run. I was trying to get on base, trying to put the ball in play,” said Rodriguez, who leads the Canes with two home runs on the year. “I got a little under [the ball]and it went out.”

The dramatic victory was a relief for Morris.

“I feel good,” Morris said after Tuesday night’s victory. “I’m a little weak from surgery. Two things that made me feel best to be honest was getting back on the field and getting a win. Those two things were definitely a cure that they didn’t have at the hospital.”

On Wednesday night, however, the Canes played a very sloppy game all around, committing three errors on the way to the team’s third midweek loss of the season.

“We didn’t play very well tonight… we made errors. Our bullpen didn’t pitch well. We didn’t hit with guys on base, we took too many called third strikes,” Morris said.

Many are wondering if this squad has enough talent to get back to the NCAA regionals.

“We’ve got some young players that have potential to be good players. The word potential is always scary because that means that you’ve got a chance to be a good player, doesn’t mean that you are a good player,” Morris said.

The Hurricanes will welcome Virginia Tech for a three-game series at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. All three games can be heard on 90.5 WVUM.

Adam Berger may be contacted at aberger@themiamihurricane.com.

March 9, 2011

Reporters

Adam Berger

Staff Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.