Miami Canes baseball changes game time for Friday regional

Miami Hurricanes baseball players dance during the game against Notre Dame at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla., Saturday, March 21, 2009.

Miami Hurricanes baseball players dance during the game against Notre Dame at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, Fla., Saturday, March 21, 2009.

Specially for the Miami Herald

Hurricane season began on Wednesday.

The hurricane season — that is, the postseason — begins Friday for the University of Miami baseball program.

The two are expected to collide with severe thunderstorms and wind gusts in excess of 30 miles per hour, which is why the NCAA changed the game time of Coral Gables Regional from Miami to Canisius College to 10 a.m. (ESPN+). It was originally scheduled for noon.

After the No. 6 national seeded Hurricanes (39-18) completed their opening round of the NCAA Division I baseball tournament against regional No. 4 seeded Canisius (29-23), the No. 2 seeded Arizona (37-23) will face the Number 2 play 3 seeds Ole Miss (32-22) 55 minutes later.

The Arizona-Ole Miss game was originally scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.

It’s been six long years since four-time national champions Miami hosted a regional league and six years since the Canes advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. So what is a little rain?

“I know there’s going to be some weather,” UM coach Gino DiMare told the Hurricane Hotline this week of the double-elimination tournament, which runs through Sunday but could extend into the week if needed. The NCAA prohibits games starting after 11 p.m. “Unfortunately, this storm is coming our way… Whatever happens, I hope our fans can handle it and be out there for us. The home advantage is big. I hope we get a great turnout for the weekend despite the weather.”

That could get tricky as the National Weather Service had forecast a 90 percent chance of precipitation, with wind gusts up to 31 mph as Arizona meets Ole Miss up to 38 mph.”

The winner of each of the 16 double-elimination Regional Championships nationwide advances in eight two-team Super Regional Championships from June 10-13. UM, which is an amazing 88-17 (.838) in regionals played in Coral Gables, would host again if it wins this weekend. The eight Super Regional winners from their best-of-three series will earn spots in the College World Series, which begins June 17.

“The biggest thing, and the coach talked about it, is to just focus on the next game,” said UM catcher Maxwell Romero, who played for Vanderbilt in last year’s College World Series. “You’re going to see sleeper teams come out on top in the Regionals because the big teams are thinking about going to Omaha. We have to worry about Friday. This is the biggest game of the year.”

The Hurricanes have advanced to the College World Series in all seven previous years in which they have been named a national seed (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2015 and 2016), winning titles in ’99 and ’01 , in addition to their first two in 1982 and ’85. They had a stellar season, leading the nation with 13 top 25 wins and being one of only four Power 5 programs with 20 conference (ACC) wins. But despite beating Notre Dame in a crucial streak to end the regular season, UM has slumped with six losses in their last eight games, including last week’s ACC tournament losses of 9-6 to NC State and 16-3 to Wake Forest.

“We’re still confident,” said UM ace and first-team All-ACC pitcher Carson Palmquist. “We know what we can do and what we’ve done all year. It was just a difficult phase, but we will get through it and be right back at the top.”

Palmquist said Thursday that he “got goosebumps” when he walked into the ballpark “when he saw all the NCAA stuff everywhere. It was just the coolest experience… It’s awesome.”

starting pitcher

At noon Thursday, DiMare said he knew his starting pitcher for Friday but wouldn’t name it “until we know they’re ready to announce theirs.”

At 2:00 p.m., Canisius trainer Matt Mazurek said he would start either right-handed second student Matt Duffy (8-2, 3.67 ERA) or left-handed junior Chris Poulett (8-2, 4.12).

“We just want to make sure one feels better than the other and we’re going to make that decision tonight,” Mazurek said.

Miami pitching has stalled lately. Palmquist (9-4, 3.09), a left-handed sophomore in the third year, was UM’s Friday night starter. He struggled against NC State in the opener of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament last week and lasted just 3 2/3 innings in a 9-6 UM loss.

No. 2 UM pitcher Karson Ligon (6-6, 4.50), a right-handed freshman, has lost three games in a row, including UM’s last game against Wake Forest when he was substituted after two innings. So both pitchers should be fresh for the tournament.

Miami’s usual No. 3 starter is right-hander Alejandro Rosario (2-3, 7.57). It’s No. 4, midweek starter: third-year right-hander Jake Garland (6-2, 3.99).

It turns out the Canisius Golden Griffins of Buffalo, New York are the only team in the UM regional league to win their most recent game — six straight wins, including the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship, which automatically earned them a regional championship berth.

Arizona of the Pac-10 is 2-5 in its last seven games. And the Southeastern Conference’s Ole Miss was on a seven-game winning streak before losing her last three of four.

UM is 28-8 at home. Canisius is 14-16 on the way.

“We can’t let that game or two in the ACC tournament define our season, dictate what moves forward,” DiMare said. “There are many ups and downs in baseball. My goodness, they are everywhere.

“We went through it a little early. We were beaten really badly against Clemson, 20-5 [on March 20th]. Then we won 14 games in a row and then went through some struggles too,” the coach said of a four-game losing streak before a six-game winning streak preceded the recent slump. “You have to fight your way mentally and make sure your thoughts are in the right place. All are now 0-0. All are in the same place.

“They should be as excited as they could be in a situation like this, playing in front of their family, friends and home fans. It’s a great opportunity that we have ahead of us. Everyone should hopefully be in good shape.”

Well, if only the weather cooperates.

This story was originally published Jun 2, 2022 12:43 p.m.

Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes’ football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won multiple APSE National Writing Awards, covering everything from Canes Baseball to the College Football Playoffs to major marathons and the Olympics.

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