Takeaways from Miami’s first ACC series loss of the season

Junior catcher Maxwell Romero Jr. hits a single to right center field in the bottom of the third inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Virginia at Mark Light Field on April 10, 2022.
Junior catcher Maxwell Romero Jr. hits a single to right center field in the bottom of the third inning of Miami’s game versus the University of Virginia at Mark Light Field on April 10, 2022. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The thrilling 14-game win streak for Miami baseball was broken on Thursday night against No. 21 Virginia Tech in a 12-5 loss. Friday’s game then ended up as a 13-2 thrashing at the expense of the Hurricanes.

The Canes, however, were able to grab a win in the series, winning 8-5 Saturday. Here are the takeaways from this past series.

1. A loss to a top-20 opponent brought Miami brought back to earth

All good things must come to an end at one point or another, but this winning streak, which lasted 25 days total, felt like it could go on forever for Miami.

The series was the first Atlantic Coast Conference series that it has lost all season and the only other one lost other than against Florida in early March. Friday’s defeat was the second-biggest deficit of this season.

The two losses came from the Hokies’ dominant hitting performances, recording 16 hits on both Thursday and Friday.

“They swung the bat well, so you have to give them credit,” Miami coach Gino DiMare said. “Credit to them, they just kept grinding away at-bats and swinging the bats. They’re a good offensive team.”

In comparison, Miami’s offense had issues hitting the ball the first two games; having just 15 between the two games. DiMare expressed disappointment in the Canes’ lineup for chasing pitches away from the strike zone Thursday.

2. Tough starts on the mound

All of UM’s starting pitchers had a rough series against Virginia Tech. On Thursday, sophomore Carson Palmquist gave up six earned runs, his second-most in a game this season, as well as 10 hits. Freshman Karson Ligon started Friday and had eight earned runs against him as well as nine hits.

The two pitchers had been ice cold during the winning streak and Ligon had been leading the ACC in ERA. The lack of run support from the offense did not help the pitchers out either, putting them in positions to earn the losses on their respective games.

The level of consistency that both pitchers had shown to this point of the season shows that these games were most likely outliers among performances to come. Palmquist is 6-2 on the season and Ligon is 4-2.

3. History tends to repeat itself

The 14-game win streak was the longest streak the Canes tallied since 2014, and was the longest win streak in NCAA Division I baseball until it was broken Thursday.

With a little more than a month left in the regular season, there is plenty of baseball left to be played and for the Hurricanes to heat up once more. With a current No. 5 national ranking, postseason baseball seems inevitable for the Hurricanes as they look to host an NCAA Regional with high hopes for success in the postseason.

Miami next takes the field against on Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday at Mark Light Field, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.