Miami baseball attempts to continue hot bats against Virginia Tech


The ACC’s top hitting team hopes to continue their hot streak when Virginia Tech comes to Coral Gables to take on the Miami baseball games in a three-game weekend series.

Virginia Tech travels south with a 24-18 overall record and 7-14 in the ACC. The Hokies won midweek games against Virginia Military Institute and Radford this week. Virginia Tech has lost 11 of their last 14 ACC games. The Miami baseball team enters the weekend as one of the hottest teams nationally.

Miami is 10-3 in their last 13 games. Before losing the series to Louisville last weekend, the Hurricanes had won their previous three ACC series. The Miami baseball team is ranked in the twenties in most major polls. They are 14th in the RPI.

If they can hold that up for the next month the Hurricanes will have an excellent chance to host a regional. Miami last hosted a regional in 2016 when they advanced to the College World Series for the second straight season. The Hurricanes have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2016.

The Miami baseball team enters the weekend tied with Wake Forest with a .292 batting average to lead the ACC. The Hurricanes are in the top five in the ACC in most offensive categories.

Miami first baseman Alex Toral leads the ACC with 17 home runs. Toral is sixth nationally in home runs. It’s a stark contrast from a year ago when the Hurricanes hit 23 as a team. The Hurricanes 55 home runs this season are second in the ACC to the Demon Deacons 59. Miami plays at Wake Forest in two weeks.

Virginia Tech could have an edge in pitching this weekend. The Hokies 3.95 ERA is the fourth best in the ACC. Miami will be without their top two starting pitchers this weekend. Evan McKendry and Chris McMahon are out with injuries. McMahon will miss his second consecutive start.

Slade Cecconi slides from the midweek starter to game one. Brian Van Belle moves from Sunday to Saturday and Taylor Keysor will start on Sunday. The Hurricanes could also be without infielders Raymond Gil and Freddy Zamora. They have been listed as day-to-day. The depth in the Miami lineup is less a concern as their pitching.

"SERIES INFORMATIONDates: Friday, April 26, 2019 – Sunday, April 28, 2019Game Times (ET): 7:00 p.m. | 7:00 p.m. | 1:00 p.m.Site: Coral Gables, Fla. | Mark Light Field (4,999)VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (24-18, 7-14 ACC)Head Coach: John Szefc (Drexel, 1989)Career Division I Record: 437-310-3 (14th season) | Record at Virginia Tech: 45-51 (2nd season) #24 MIAMI HURRICANES (28-14, 11-10 ACC)Head Coach: Gino DiMare (Miami, 1992)Career Division I Record: 28-14 (first season) | Record at Miami: 28-14 (first season)Pitching MatchupsVirginia TechFriday: SO LHP Ian Seymour (2-3, 4.15 ERA)Saturday: FR LHP Chris Gerard (6-6, 4.38 ERA)Sunday: TBAMiamiFriday: FR RHP Slade Cecconi (5-3, 4.44 ERA)Saturday: R-JR RHP Brian Van Belle (5-2, 3.83 ERA)Sunday: JR RHP Tyler Keysor (4-0, 4.97 ERA)Broadcast InformationTV: ACC Network Extra (all home games)Flagship Radio: 790 The Ticket (all games)Student Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM | (all games)Spanish Radio: 990 AM ESPN Deportes (Sunday)Courtesy of HurricaneSports"

The series between the Hurricanes and the Hokies should come down to Miami’s depleted starting rotation against Virginia Tech’s mediocre hitters. The Hokies are 10th in the ACC in batting and slugging percentage and seventh in home runs. The Miami bullpen could be vital this weekend.

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Miami does not have a weekday game following the series against Virginia Tech. It’s finals and graduation week. The Hurricanes resume play next weekend with a three-game non-conference series at home against Bethune-Cookman. The Hurricanes resume ACC play in two weeks at Wake Forest.