Each year, the Florida State Seminoles tend to present a struggle for Miami baseball.
Before this weekend, the last time that Miami won a game against Florida State was in 2019. With the Hurricanes being ta top-10 team in the nation, there was hope they would show dominance against the Seminoles.
However, the struggle against their fierce rival comes once more for the Hurricanes, as UM lost the the series. Saturday featured a doubleheader, where the Hurricanes won the first game 8-2 and lost the second 6-4. Sunday featured the same exact scoreline of 6-4 in Florida State’s favor. Here are some of the takeaways from the series…
1. Jacob Burke shines offensively
Sophomore outfielder Jacob Burke provided the overall best offensive performance in the series. His best performance came in the loss on Sunday, going 3-for-3 with a late home run. Burke’s series also featured a 2-for-4 contribution in the Game 1 victory.
In his first season as a Hurricane, Burke, 6-for-11 throughout the weekend, is hitting an impressive .349 average while getting on base 42.9 percent of the time.
Transferring to Miami from Southeastern Louisiana, Burke has started in almost every game this season for the Hurricanes. The St. Francisville, Louisiana, native has been consistent with his hitting throughout the season, which has included two home runs in the last three games.
2. Freshman starter Karson Ligon struggles again
Normal Game 2 starter freshman Karson Ligon struggled in his performance in the 6-4 loss Saturday. In the five innings that he pitched, Ligon allowed eight hits and each of Florida State’s six earned runs.
Ligon, who at one point led the ACC in ERA, has noticeably struggled in three of his last four ACC performances. The ERA in these last 4 performances averages to 10.96, and includes an ERA of 10.80 in the loss against Florida State.
Ligon’s string of ACC struggles proves concerning with the approaching ACC Tournament, which starts May 24. What caused the difficulties recently has been uncertain, but he will build a confidence that can produce great future outings.
3. The fielding needs to be cleaned up
Six errors across three games is no good statistic for the Hurricanes, which rank fourth in the conference in total errors.
Miami has 58 errors on the season, which amounts to over one per game. Thirteen total passed balls have moved the team into a tie for fourth in the ACC. Against teams such as a ranked opponent in Florida state, errors are something that need to be non-existent and must be to taken advantage with the fielding opportunities they get.
4. The next series could shift the entire season
With one more ACC series left, the Hurricanes will need stronger outings to boost their confidence before the ACC Tournament. A great opportunity lies to make a national statement next weekend against Notre Dame, which ranks first in the ACC Atlantic.
A final sweep for UM, which now holds only a one-game lead over fifth-ranked Virginia Tech, would indicate the first ACC series sweep since it took down Virginia in early April. The series starts Thursday at Mark Light Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.