The University of Miami baseball team may be down, but it is certainly not out.
Despite less than expected performances in the last two series against Georgia Tech and Oral Roberts, the ‘Canes are still moving forward with their sights set on competing for the ACC title and ultimately a chance at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
A four-game series with Oral Roberts ended in a split, as the Hurricanes were unable to attain a victory in the last two games. The loss on Sunday was their fourth out of the past six games.
“I wasn’t really happy that we were unable to play well the last two games,” said Head Coach Jim Morris. “I’m disappointed with the way we’re progressing right now as a team because I don’t think we’re playing as well as we could play.”
The team has experienced a number of setbacks with key players being hurt and unable to contribute. Sophomore
outfielder Jon Jay and sophomore third baseman Danny Valencia both experienced minor injuries that have been keeping them out of commission.
“We need those guys that have been hurt to get healthy again and make their way back into the lineup,” Morris stated.
It is likely that Jay and Valencia will return for the Virginia Tech series this weekend; however, no definitive conclusion will be reached until it is certain they are capable of returning to the game in peak physical condition. Although the line-up has not yet been determined, the pitching rotation will involve Cesar Carrillo, Brandon Camardese and in the No. 3 position, Ricky Orta.
The Hurricanes will be devoting practices to preparing for their third away series and fifth ACC match-up of the season.
“The team is still dwelling on the weekend’s losses so we will be working on making the necessary adjustments and coming together as a team this week,” Morris said.
Miami has never before played the
Hokies and will have to take on the new opponent in temperatures predicted to range in the 40s and 50s this weekend.
“Every time you go somewhere new, you have to make adjustments. In our case, it will be the fact that it’s cold, which is something we’re not used to,” Morris said. “We’ve worked in those conditions before so it shouldn’t be a huge problem.”
The ‘Canes rank fourth in the ACC baseball standings while Virginia Tech trails in the 10th position. While the gap would suggest the Hurricanes have nothing to worry about, preparations and training are still being taken with the utmost seriousness. Scouting reports and film are tools that the coaching staff will be observing to tailor to the club’s style.
“The most important thing is that all of our guys get healthy,” Morris said. “Then we can get settled down, define roles and have the players doing a good job in their position.”
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at s. arnold@um iam i. edu.