Three regular season games remain for the Miami Hurricanes, who seem destined to miss a second consecutive post-season—on the heels of reaching a regional 44 years in a row.

To Miami’s credit, the Canes are riding an eight-game win-streak and need every victory they can muster up. A shot at a ninth was lost Tuesday evening when a home stand against Stetson was cancelled due to inclement weather, but the way Miami has handled mid-season showdowns this season, a throw-down against the Mad Hatters would’ve hardly been a gimme.

The Canes entered last night’s would-be showdown with a having lost 9-of-12  mid-week games against the likes of Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast and a few other beatable squads that did some lasting damage to Miami’s post-season chances.

Sitting at 25-25 on the season, even taking a handful of those mid-week games could’ve put Miami in a more-desirable 30-20 position with only a home-stand against Boston College remaining, leading up to the ACC Tournament. Instead, the Canes must sweep the Eagles, make a deep run in next week’s conference tourney and hope the committee throws a little love the way of head coach Jim Morris, who is finally hanging it up after 37 seasons at the helm of a Division-I program.

To Miami’s credit, the past few weeks have been impressive. The Canes hit the road and swept Virginia Tech last weekend—eking out a 5-4 win on Friday, rolling the Hokies, 16-4 on Saturday and hanging on for an extra innings win on Sunday, winning 12-8 in ten.

Days before, a convincing mid-week win over visiting Florida Gulf Coast as the Canes put together the type of 7-1 victory one would expect against a team of that caliber playing in South Florida on a Wednesday night.

Bethune-Cookman surprisingly gave Miami all it could handle the previous weekend at The Light. The Canes pulled out the 4-2 win on Friday night against the Wildcats but needed two runs in the bottom of the ninth to come from behind on Saturday for an 8-7 victory.

Sunday’s closeout and eventual sweep might’ve been the hardest of them all as Miami let an 11-4 lead going into the top of the fourth, turn into 11-11 by the bottom of the eighth. Despite momentum completely slipping away, the Canes rallied by way of a Willie Escala single, Freddy Zamora getting hit by a pitch and Romy Gonzales delivering a two-out single to center that brought Escala across the plate for the winning run.

The win-streak started in Tallahassee the Sunday prior as Miami knocked off Florida State convincingly, 11-5. The bad news; the Canes got rocked by the Noles, 10-1 on Saturday night after getting blanked 2-0 in Friday’s opener. Those setback were part of a 2-6 run by Miami, where the Canes fell to Florida International in another mid-week disaster, and losing 2-of-3 at home against lowly Pittsburgh—killing all momentum after taking the first two on the road against a Clemson squad ranked in the Top 10 in mid-April.

As has been the case all season, untimely losses and general inconsistency seems to creep up and undo Miami at the worst possible time.

The Tigers jumped all over the Hurricanes in the Friday night opener, up 6-3 after two innings. Bats went cold on both sides until Clemson woke up with five runs in the bottom of the eighth and extended the lead to 11-3.

Based on Miami’s play all season, succumbing to the notion that this one was in the books wouldn’t have been a stretch. That said, every time one is about to completely give up on this team, the unthinkable happens—in this case, an eight-run ninth inning. The Canes miraculously forced extra innings, picked up a run in the top of the 12th and the Tigers never scored again.


The other side of that; scoring one run against the Panthers over two home losses the following weekend—the Canes stranding 17 runners over the course of 18 innings.

Things turned for the better the following Sunday in Tallahassee with 11 runs of offense, which has since carried over—but the talent in the other dugout was far from superior against the likes of Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast or Virginia Tech.

Thankfully for Miami, the competition remains rather weak at Boston College is officially the ACC’s worst with a 7-20 conference record and ACC-worst RPI at 156. Asking for a sweep—with so much on the line and riding the momentum of an 8-game win-streak—shouldn’t be a tall order against the Eagles.

When delving into the ACC standings, a glaring reminder that mid-week against against non-conference foes are truly what undid Miami this season. The Canes sit at 14-13 in conference—while the arch-rival Seminoles are 14-12. Difference in the overall records? Miami at a lackluster 25-25 while Florida State sits 10 games better at 35-16.

Translation; FSU is a shoo-in for the post-season while UM will be forced to scrap and beg its way in—due to letting a handful of very winnable games slip away.

28-25 should be the record going into next week’s ACC Tournament. From there, hopefully the Canes can pick up a couple in Durham, getting Miami to the 30-win mark—making it easier on the committee to cut UM some more slack than it did last year when regionals were announced.

If not, the Morris era will unfortunately end with a whimper instead of the bang it began with.

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