Get Them While They're Hot!
Get Them While They're Hot!
The Hurricanes are back. Arguably one of the best programs in the history of college baseball, Miami is returning to Omaha for the first time since 2008. With a ridiculous 43 consecutive tournament streak, 24 College World Series appearances, and four national championships it is safe to say the Canes are elite.
On the year Miami stands at 48-15 and comfortably won the ACC Coastal Division. in the Coral Gables Regional they did have a bit of a scare though as Columbia forced them to play a winner take all Monday Regional Final. The Canes left no doubt though as they eliminated the Lions by a score of 21-3. They then made easy work of the VCU Rams winning the Super Regional by scores of 3-2 and 10-3.
The discussion about Miami begins with their prolific offense. They are batting .311 on as team, good for sixth in the country and are led at the plate by National College Baseball Writer's Association All-Americans David Thompson and George Iskendarian. Thompson leads the nation in RBIs with 87 and is tied for the lead in home runs with 19. Iskendarian won the ACC batting title (conference games only) with a .391 average. He got on base regularly and scored when he was there leading the ACC with 61 runs scored. Up and down the Cane's lineup there are guys who can hit. Sophomore Zach Collins wasn't too far behind Thompson's HR total slugging 15 and Senior Garrett Kennedy added seven while driving in 51 runs. In fact, from top to bottom the entire Cane's starting lineup is batting at least .297 on the season.
Virginia saw first hand how Miami can score in bunches in the ACC Tournament. Leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Hoos witnessed Miami send ten men to the plate and score seven runs capped by a three-run home run by Kennedy. That sort of firepower ensures the Canes are never really out it and the game isn't over until the final out.
On the mound Miami is led by starters Thomas Woodrey and Andrew Suarez. Woodrey was 7-2 on the year with a 3.06 ERA. He doesn't blow you away with stuff, but he commands well, pitches to contact, and gets outs. Suarez has come on of late going 9-1 on the year with a 2.96 ERA. Just a couple days ago he was the 61st pick in the Major League Draft by the San Francisco Giants. That after being the 57th pick by the Washington Nationals last season (he didn't sign and returned to Miami). He produces more strikeouts than Woodrey, but also pitches to contact and just gets outs.
Coming out of the bullpen, teams are likely to see sidewinding Cooper Hammond. He has a 1.85 ERA to go with his 5-1 record. He leads the Hurricane's bullpen in both appearances and innings pitched. Left handed batters are likely to face Michael Mediavilla. Mediavilla has a 1.89 ERA on the season and strikes out 11.8 batters per nine innings pitched. At the back end to close things out is Bryan Garcia. Garcia has ten saves on the season with a 2.68 ERA and while he is not as dominant as some closers he is very effective at ensuring the Canes the W.
This week in Omaha, the Hurricanes will look to prove that they are back to being the dominant team of the last three decades. They can hit with anyone and if the pitching can hold up, this is a team that can bring the trophy back to Coral Gables and help the ACC win it's first National Championship in 60 years.