Miami baseball released its full 2022 season schedule on Monday, revealing four non-conference home series, six different midweek opponents, and 10 conference series spanning from February to late May.
It will be a much different team for head coach Gino DiMare in his fourth year as manager. Star catcher Adrian Del Castillo, breakout pitcher Jake Smith and middle infielder Anthony Vilar were drafted in the 2021 MLB Draft (Arizona, Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee). Veterans Alex Toral and Raymond Gil have both departed the program, weekend pitcher Victor Mederos transferred to Oklahoma State, and outfielder Christian Del Castillo graduated from the university.
Miami brought in an abundance of new players to reload the roster. Nineteen new Hurricanes featured in the Orange and Green World Series last week, including transfers Max Romero Jr, Henry Wallen and Jacob Burke. With a new breed of freshman class, the Hurricanes are set to compete for the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal division, after barely missing out on the division title by half of a game to Georgia Tech.
Because of COVID-19 last season, the Hurricanes played just two non-conference series in 2021, opening the season at No. 1 Florida before playing Appalachian State in April. This season, the schedule returns to its normal 57-game slate, meaning four out-of-conference squads will travel to Coral Gables for a weekend series.
Miami will open the season with a four-game set at home against the Towson Tigers, including a doubleheader on Saturday. UM played Towson about two weeks before the pandemic shut down the 2020 baseball season, and the Hurricanes were victorious in style, sweeping the Tigers. After a midweek tune-up, they will host the Harvard Crimson for a three-game set from Feb. 25–27.
Those first eight games will set the Hurricanes up for one of their biggest series of the year: hosting the Florida Gators. UM shocked Florida last season, taking two of the three games in 2021 at UF’s new stadium. The Gators swept Miami in Coral Gables in 2020, including two extra-inning wins on Friday and Saturday. These two teams both had rough endings to their 2021 seasons, each falling out of the Gainesville regional as No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. Florida will likely have one or fewer losses going into that series, bringing a highly anticipated matchup between two bitter rivals.
In between Miami’s series against Towson and Harvard lies their first midweek game, as they host the Florida Atlantic Owls on Feb. 23. The Hurricanes will play six different teams in midweek games this season, including FAU, Florida International, Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Stetson, and Bethune-Cookman. UM dominated midweeks last season, finishing with a 7-1 record.
The Hurricanes played all but one ACC opponent – Notre Dame – last season, but this year the schedule goes back down to 10 conference series, with Miami excluded from playing NC State, Wake Forest and Louisville. UM plays five home series and five away series, alternating home, then away from March through May.
Miami will open its ACC slate at Mark Light Field against Boston College on March 11–13. Boston College shocked UM last season, losing two out of three in Massachusetts last season. Mike Gambino’s Eagles finished with the worst ACC record in 2021, going just 10-23. Things won’t get easier for Boston College after losing star outfielder Sal Frelick and second baseman Cody Morrissette to the MLB, with Frelick the 15th overall pick to Milwaukee, and Morrissett joining the Miami Marlins in the second round.
The Hurricanes’ first road test of the season comes the following weekend, as they head to South Carolina to face the Clemson Tigers for a three-game series. Head Coach Monte Lee won his 200th game with the program last season in his sixth year with the Tigers, but lost in a series sweep last season, being outscored 28-7 in the series.
The Canes’ schedule grows more difficult in April, as they face the defending ACC champions, Duke, to open the month. The Blue Devils shocked the college baseball world last May, blowing out Florida State and walking off against UM to advance to the ACC semifinals. Duke shutout NC State in the ACC Championship game, but fell out of the postseason in the Nashville Regional against the No. 1 Vanderbilt Commodores.
The final two series of the month see Miami face two opponents that they were 1-5 against last season, as they travel to Virginia Tech before closing out the month with Pittsburgh. Virginia Tech flamed out after a hot start to the 2021 season, but lost four players to the MLB Draft, including three pitchers. Pittsburgh stunned Miami last season after sweeping the Hurricanes, but lost standout outfielder Nico Popa and opening night starter Stephen Hansen. With the Hurricanes’ schedule turning into a grind in May, these are two series UM need to win, if not sweep.
So far, the ACC schedule has been pretty favorable for Miami, but May proves to be the biggest test. The Canes close April and open May in Atlanta, facing off with the defending Coastal champions Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets return a stacked batting corps, with outfielders Tres Gonzalez and Justin-Henry Malloy emerging as two of the top players in the ACC, now also boast John Anderson and Andrew Jenkins, who helped the NECBL’s Danbury Westerners to their first ever championship last summer. Miami took two of three against Georgia Tech last season.
After a non-conference series with North Dakota State during finals week at UM, Miami will prepare for its final — and — toughest two series of the season. First, the Hurricanes will head to Tallahassee and take on the rival Florida State Seminoles. The Hurricanes will have revenge on their minds, after being outscored 34-2 at home against their rivals last season in an easy FSU sweep.
To wrap up their regular season, the Hurricanes will return home to play the defending ACC regular season champions, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish were a commanding 34-13 in head coach Link Jarrett’s second season in South Bend, Indiana just missing out on their third College World Series appearance in program history. It will be the first meeting between the Hurricanes and Irish in over four years, when Miami won its opening ACC series in March of 2018 by taking two out of three against Notre Dame.