The University of Miami’s baseball season ended – much like it did last year – Saturday night in Gainesville, with the ‘Canes (43-20) losing 4-3 in extra innings, sending the Florida Gators (47-15) to Omaha for a chance to win their first national championship. Miami tied a post-season school record of seven errors, which in large part contributed to the early, unscheduled end of the season.
On Friday evening, UM lost the opening contest 7-2. The Gators scored three runs in the third and fourth innings, and put Miami away early. Florida starter Alex Panteliodis (11-2) tossed a complete game while limiting the explosive ‘Canes offense to two runs on three hits. He struck out a career-high 12. Hurricanes catcher Yasmani Grandal supplied the only run production, hitting a two run homer in the fourth to pull his team to within one. David Gutierrez (5-3) was dealt the loss.
Saturday night saw some very un-Cane like play defensively. Starter Chris Hernandez had his finest performance of the season, going 8 1/3 and only allowing one unearned run. Nathan Melendres gave Miami a spark, hitting a three run shot to give UM the lead. The Hurricanes were unable to put Florida away in the ninth, committing multiple errors and handing the Gators extra chances to tie the ballgame, which they did. In the 10th, another Miami error moved a Gator base runner over to second, and UF’s Austin Maddox smacked a double down the right field line. Miami was unable to tie the ballgame in their last at-bat.
Jim Morris and his players take a lot of pride in their program, which they should. While success on the diamond in Coral Gables is measured in trips to Omaha, can you really call the season a total failure?
- Miami extended its consecutive post-season appearance streak to 38
- 12 straight home regional series wins under Morris
- Yasmani Grandal — ACC Player of the Year, 2010 NCBWA District III Player of the Year, finalist for the Golden Spikes (think baseball Heisman) and the Johnny Bench Award, First Team All-American, selected 12th overall in MLB Draft (Cincinnati Reds)
- Won 40 games for the 14th time in 17 seasons under Morris
- Recorded 105 home runs and stole 103 bases
Say what you will, but most programs around the country would trade histories with Miami in a New York minute. Not even the storied UCLA basketball program, in all its glory, never made the post-season 38 straight times.
Jim Morris is under contract until 2015, and until he decides to hang up his spikes, this program will be a national championship contender every year, and there will always be room for optimism when a new season starts.
Thanks for a great season, Diamond ‘Canes!