Miami baseball took a 10-game win-streak on the road to Durham this week for the ACC Tournament, aiming to get a couple of victories and to work some post-season magic en route to a regional. Instead, the Hurricanes got a win over the Fighting Irish on Tuesday, but came up short against a Tigers squad it took 2-of-3 from weeks back in Clemson.

As a result, Miami now sits at 28-26—back home with fingers cross that the committee throws some love the way of a long-time, about-to-retire head coach come Monday.

The Hurricanes missed the post-season in 2017 for the first time in 45 tries; riding a 44-year streak into last year. Miami put together a 32-27, went 16-13 in conference and won two games at the ACC Tournament—taking down Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, before falling to North Carolina over the weekend.

This season, another 16-13 conference run, though the overall record had four less wins than last year. Not good news when bringing this year’s resume in front of the committee.

Miami also really blew it regarding mid-week games that should’ve helped pad the stats—like it did for Florida State, who was pretty much equal with the Canes regarding a conference record—but is 40-17 overall, courtesy of wins over non-conference foes.

The Canes were a paltry 3-8 on those Tuesday and Wednesday games that should’ve been a gimme, against the likes of FIU, FAU, UCF, FGCU and other smaller programs. Flip that to 8-3 and Miami is 33-21 right now and most-likely a shoo-in for the regionals.

For the Canes’ sake, it’s going to take someone on the committee looking at Miami’s late-season run, as well as tossing a courtesy bone to Jim Morris as he ends a four-decade career. Between the 11-game win-streak, Morris’ swan song and the fact the Canes were a bubble team that got bounced last year—can UM sneak in?

Going into Thursday’s showdown with a quality Clemson squad, Miami had won 11-in-a-row; an impressive feat for a squad that plays in as competitive a conference as the ACC. Where that streak is a little misleading; the quality of foe UM faced over that stretch.

The Canes took game three in Tallahassee after getting blanked 2-0 on Friday night and smoked 10-1 on Saturday. That 11-5 comeback to avoid the sweep seemed to light a spark with this young Miami squad.

Thankfully Bethune-Cookman was next up on the schedule and trekked south for a three-game stand at The Light. The Wildcats scored 20 runs over three games and gave the Canes all the home team could handle—but in the end, Miami was four runs better than the opposition and it was a clean sweep in Coral Gables.

Miami responded mid-week with a convincing 7-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast—only the third mid-week win of the season—but it came at the right time and the Canes stayed hot.

Miami hit the road for a three-game stretch in Blacksburg and escaped wit a 5-4 win on Friday night, before rolling 16-4 on Saturday. The sweep was in doubt Sunday, but the Canes picked up four runs in the seventh and eight innings combined and closed with a four-run 10th inning for another sweep.

A Tuesday night home game against No. 17 Stetson was cancelled due to inclement weather. The optimist would say it cost the Canes a shot at another win, while the logical mind would say Miami might’ve dodged a bullet there that helped keep the streak alive.

The Canes notched back-to-back wins over lowly Boston College on the final home-stand of the season; 3-0 on Thursday and 4-3 on Friday—but Saturday’s finale was called due to rain, Miami trailing by one run in the third. How that would’ve played out remains a mystery, but based on a technicality, the win-streak stayed at 10.

Tuesday’s showdown against Notre Dame in Durham was in line with the type of baseball the Canes have played this season. Missed opportunities early, but when a few breaks went Miami’s way, it capitalized and made an opponent pay.

The Canes took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second—making something out of nothing when the first two batters of the inning lined- and flied-out. In a hole. Raymond Gil doubled to center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Willy Escala followed with a single to left, scoring Gil—but Freddy Zamora grounded out to end the inning.

As things seem to go for the Canes, the Fighting Irish immediately took back the lead with two runs in the top of the third. From there, both offenses cooled a bit. Miami stranded three runners over the next five innings, but never truly threatened to make any noise until the bottom of the eighth when Notre Dame start Andrew Belcik began to unravel.

Belcik hit Tony Jenkins when facing a 1-2 count and walked Raymond Gonzalez on four consecutive pitches—setting up Danny Reyes to get after it on an 0-2 count, doubling to right center and scoring Jenkins. Michael Burns singled to center, scoring Gonzalez and sending Reyes to third.

Isaac Quinones and Danny Cloonan combined for back-to-back strikeouts, but Escala drew a walk to load the bases, setting up Zamora, who delivered a single to left, scoring both base runners before getting thrown out trying to reach third.

Regardless, the damage was done and Miami took a 6-2 lead into the top of the ninth against a shell-shocked Notre Dame squad, who made zero noise with their final at-bat.

The Canes hoped that magic would carry over to a pivotal game against the Tigers, and for a while it looked like it was anybody’s ball game. 1-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, Miami unraveled and Clemson showed why they’re one of the conference’s better squads.

Drew Wharton took Jeb Bargfeldt yard to start the inning, though Miami’s starter calmed down and struck out the next two batter’s swinging. Minimal damage and only a 2-1 ballgame at this point. From there, back-to-back singles saw Cooper Hammond coming in to relieve Bargfeldt; Hammond giving up back-to-back singles of his own, pushing the Clemson lead to, 3-1.

At that point, pitching coach J.D. Arteaga had seen enough of Hammond and went to the bullpen for Frankie Bartow, who gave up an RBI single, followed by a three-run shot to right that blew the game wide open for Clemson. Within minutes, a tied ball game became a six-run deficit and the Canes never recovered.

A win and Miami would’ve faced Friday night’s Florida State / North Carolina State winner, with a shot at Sunday’s finale. Instead, a 1-1 run sent the Canes packing and hoping for a mini-miracle.

In Miami’s defense, the ACC is a quality conference and the Canes were a five-seed going into this year’s tournament. Last year, a six-seed that made some noise against #3 and #10 before falling to #2 in the semifinals. Beating Clemson was a tall order for this young squad on Thursday night, but hopefully taking 2-of-3 on the road against the Tigers helps bolster Miami’s case for a regional seed.

While begging one’s way into the post-season isn’t the route a proud program like the Hurricanes want to go, fact remains this young squad would benefit from a few extra games on the road in a regional setting—and hopefully Morris’ exit, combined with UM’s late-season resurgence, gives Miami that lucky bounce.

These Hurricanes aren’t destined for anything necessarily special this post-season, should they stumble into a few more games—but it’d satisfy both the short-term, while helping the long. Morris gets one more go-aroud with a regional; which was part of every season at Miami until 2017—while this year’s young squad can grow immensely with some more post-season experience.

It remains a long shot, but the baseball gods have shone on the Canes before. Based on 3′s departure and last year’s perceived snub; here’s hoping Miami gets a little courtesy bump in a few days when sites are announced.

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