Hurricanes head to Tallahassee for showdown with ‘Noles

On Sunday, Head Coach Jim Morris won his 1,000th game when the baseball team defeated Georgia Tech 16-13. This weekend, the Hurricanes travel to Tallahassee to face their hated rival Florida State.

The Hurricanes enter the series with a record of 24-6 and are ranked fifth in the nation. The Seminoles are No. 10 in the nation.

Miami and Florida State were selected by Baseball America as the best rivalry in college baseball. These next six games will have a substantial impact on both of these teams’ seasons.

“Miami and Florida State have been two outstanding programs for a long time,” Morris said. “For many years, one or both of us have been to the College World Series, and even faced each other in the national finals. The good guys won that year, by the way.”

Morris’ 1,000th victory also left him just four wins shy of his 500th as a Hurricane. If the Hurricanes win the season series against Florida State, Morris would reach that milestone against the ‘Canes’ biggest rivals.

“I got my 1,000 win against Georgia Tech, where my first head coaching job was, so to possibly get my 500th against Florida State, where I had my first job as an assistant coach, would be great. It will be tough and they are going to play us well, but I would rather get it against them than a school that we have no real relationship with,” Morris said.

Winning against Florida State is never easy, a task that will be made tougher in Tallahassee. This year will be the last time that the Hurricanes do a home-and-away series with the Seminoles. Next year, as part of the ACC, the teams will meet as part of conference play, but they will only play three games.

In order to beat Florida State in these six games, the Hurricanes will need to continue to swing the bats well, but they will also need better efforts from their starting pitchers. Against the Yellow Jackets, the starting pitchers struggled. They lost 17-4 on Friday, but the Hurricanes rallied to win 9-7 Saturday and repeated the effort with a 16-13 victory on Sunday. Overall, the ‘Canes gave up 37 runs in the three-game series.

“We can’t be too up or down about our pitching because the weekend before they pitched great,” Morris said. “I can’t really complain because they aren’t going to pitch great every weekend. What makes us a good team is that when the pitchers don’t pitch well, the hitters can score runs and vice versa. The weekend before Tech we couldn’t hit and our pitchers did the job.”

The FSU series starts today in Tallahassee and returns to South Florida next weekend for three more games.

“I like pitching over there when you have all the Seminoles fans doing their chant,” closer George Huguet said. “If you beat them, you don’t just beat the 25 players on the team, you feel like you beat all 7,000 people in the park.”

Darren Grossman can be contacted at