If this Cavalier baseball team continues their winning ways this weekend against Miami there is no reason to think this team isn't a Top 5 team. They've already accomplished a meteoric rise from outside the Top 25 to the Top 10 thanks in large part to their 23-2 record, but even more so because of their sweep of NC St last weekend and taking two of three from Clemson in South Carolina.
Miami will not be a roll over this weekend, though. This Hurricanes team comes into the weekend at 19-9, but most of those losses coming at the hands of pretty stiff competition (Florida, UNC, VPISU). However, they did drop a series the opening weekend of ACC play to Duke, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Anyways, Miami is another team that doesn't like to announce who their starters are going to be going in to the weekend (thanks Coach Morris!), but judging from their stats, I can guess that they will run Chris Diaz, Andrew Suarez, and Javi Salas, all three have the most starts on the staff. Diaz is the standout of the three with a 1.58 ERA, which puts him at 8th in the ACC. The good thing for the Hoos, though, is that Diaz doesn't strike out too many batters or walk too many (23 Ks, 9 BBs, 43 IP). Salas is the weakest link of the three with a 2-3 record and 4.19 ERA. If Salas is scheduled to pitch on Sunday and the boys have already taken the Friday and Saturday games, I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami panic a little bit and try something different.
Miami's hitters are competitive, but aren't overly impressive. Their .267 team batting average ranks them 10th in the ACC, only in front of Boston College and Duke. That could be a testament to their difficult schedule(21st SOS v. UVa's 138th) they've played so far, or it could just be that they aren't that great at the plate. They don't do anything that catches your eye when you look at their stats, except maybe strikeout, because they have the 2nd most Ks in the conference. With only two hitters batting over .300, it is hard to draw positives, but they are lead by Brad Fieger who is batting .316, which leads the team, and is 2nd on the team with 19 RBI.
They do put a good amount of pressure on the opposing catcher, having 51 stolen base attempts on the season. Irving will be on alert again all weekend whenever Miami gets on base.
Coach O'Connor, historically, doesn't have a lot of success against Miami (15-14 vs. record), but more recently the Cavaliers have owned Miami having won nine of the last eleven dating back to 2010. Those nine also include a clean sweep in Coral Gables last year.
Just like last week, I refuse to look back at what I predicted at the beginning of the year. This team is more surprising than Florida Gulf Coast University. Now, I see the Hoos winning the weekend. They've proven that they are going to be better than most in the Conference. I want to say that the boys are going to sweep the Canes this weekend, but I can't. Miami was able to steal one two weeks ago at UNC, and I think they will likely be able to do the same thing this weekend. Hoos take two of three.