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Canes Look to Get Back on Track Against #13 UNC

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The Miami Hurricanes’ baseball team has struggled mightily on the road this season and that trend continued in Charlottesville this past weekend. Virginia swept the Canes in dominant fashion, outscoring Miami 26-10 during the three-game series. This was the second straight road series that saw the Canes get swept and dropped UM’s road record to an abysmal 2-9 on the year. Miami, who sits at an impressive 18-3 when playing at home in Coral Gables, has yet to find a way to transfer that success to their road appearances.

The Canes will have another chance to show they can rack up some quality road wins as they travel to Chapel Hill for a three-game series against a top 15 UNC team. The Tar Heels have won three of their last four games including taking two of three in a conference matchup against Georgia Tech in Atlanta. UNC will be playing at home where they are 17-6 on the season, coupled with Miami’s road woes, this could have a huge impact on the series. 

For the Canes to finally come away with some big conference road wins, they’ll have to slow down UNC at the plate and on the basepaths. The Tar Heels rank third in the ACC in home runs and have two players tied for second in the ACC in stolen bases. UNC has four players batting over .330 on the season, led by Patrick Alvarez who has an impressive .355 average this year. With four players having at least eight home runs and thirty RBIs this year, the high powered UNC offense is very balanced and has a multitude of guys that can do some serious damage at the plate. One of those big bats is Mac Horvath, who sits second in the conference with thirteen home runs.

Given Miami’s struggles to score on the road, it will be important for the Canes’ pitching staff to keep the Heels’ offense in check if they want a chance to take home a series win. Over their last six road games, the Canes are 0-6 and have scored only twelve total runs; a stark difference from the Miami offense that’s averaging over eleven runs per game in their last nine appearances at Mark Light Field. If the Canes’ baseball team wants to be considered a contender to make a run deep into May and June, they’ll have to show the ability to beat quality opponents on the road, something they have yet to do this year.

The three-game series will get started on Thursday night with first pitch coming at 7pm on the ACC Network. Friday’s game will also be a 7pm start and will be nationally televised on ESPN2. The final game of the series will be a noon matchup and only available on the ACC Digital Network.

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