After losing two-of-three against the Virginia Cavaliers, the Miami Hurricanes would have liked to use their midweek game to get back on the right course before a big weekend series against the Florida State Seminoles.
They won’t get that opportunity however, as they are set to face Florida Atlantic for the final time this season in what will be the rubber match between ranked teams from the Sunshine State.
Dropping their first matchup on all the way back in February by the score of 5-3, the Hurricanes were able to bounce back later in the year with an extra innings win off the bat of junior George Iskenderian.
Through the first two games, the Owls have seen excellent pitching, especially from their starters. Neither Brandon Rhodes nor Sam Labsan allowed a run in their combined 11 innings of work against the Hurricanes, while receiving some timely bullpen effort in support.
Derik Beauprez started the first game, not being able to make it out of the third inning, before being replaced for Danny Garcia. The latter has since become the midweek stalwart for the Hurricanes, and currently leads the club in wins and innings pitched.
Pitching hasn’t dominated, but has certainly been able to contain things – on both ends. Despite having one of the more potent lineups in the nation, the Owls have held the Hurricanes to just a pair of extra base hits – a Carl Chester home run and Zack Collins double. Florida Atlantic has been held to just a pair as well, both doubles.
Leading the way for the Owls this season has been Brendon Sanger and Ricky Santiago, who has hit a combined 5-for-16 in the two games against the Hurricanes, and has four-of-five credited RBIs in the series.
The Hurricanes have been paced in the series by Iskenderian (4-for-8), Chester (3-for-9, HR, SB) and Garrett Kennedy (3-for-10). The usual offensive catalyst of Collins, David Thompson, and Ricky Eusebio has combined to hit only .136.
A win for the Hurricanes will not only give them another series win against a ranked team, but can also help them as they gear up for their home series against another instate rival, Florida State.