Miami baseball needs only Friday win vs. UNC to advance to semifinals in ACC Tournament


The Miami baseball team begins pool play in the ACC Tournament on Thursday against Virginia. Win or lose Miami’s fate in the tournament will be determined on Friday against North Carolina. A win versus the Tar Heels puts the Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament semifinals.

As the highest seed in Pool C, the Miami baseball team only needs to win Friday’s game against North Carolina to advance to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. That was determined with the Tar Heels 3-2 victory over Virginia on Wednesday afternoon. The Hurricanes will throw Brian VanBelle in their opener vs. UVA Thursday.

The Miami baseball team swept Virginia in Charlottesville earlier this year. Van Belle got the win in a 3-1 Hurricanes victory over the Cavaliers of the final game of the series last month. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowed seven hits, one run that was earned with a walk and six strikeouts.

Miami enters the ACC with their highest seed since they won the ACC regular season in 2016. The Hurricanes are trying to reach the semifinals for the second time in three years. Miami surprisingly won their pool in 2017 as the sixth seed. That was not enough to vault the Hurricanes into the NCAA Tournament.

Miami has missed the last two NCAA Tournaments after 44 consecutive appearances. The Hurricanes are a lock to make it in 2019. A semifinal appearance in the ACC tournament practically guarantees a regional in Coral Gables next weekend. One win in Durham should be enough.

"ACC CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATIONDates: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – Sunday, May 26, 2019Game Times (ET):Game 1 (Virginia ) – Thursday, May 23 – 3 p.m. ETGame 2 (North Carolina) – Friday, May 23 – 3 p.m. ETSite: Durham, N.C. | Durham Bulls Athletic Park (10,00)TV: RSN | ACC Network Extra (all pool games)Flagship Radio: 790 The Ticket (all postseason)Student Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM | (all games)Twitter Updates: @CanesB#4 MIAMI HURRICANES (38-17, 18-12 ACC)Head Coach: Gino DiMare (Miami, 1992)Career Division I Record: 38-17 (first season) | Record at Miami: 38-17 (first season)#9 VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (32-22, 14-16 ACC)Head Coach: Brian O’Connor (Creighton, 1993)Career Division I Record: 700-286-2 (16th season) | Record at UVA: 700-286-2 (16th season)#5 NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (38-17, 17-13 ACC)Head Coach: Mike Fox (North Carolina, 1978)Career Record: 1,467-538-5 (36th season) | Record at UNC: 928-397-1 (21st season)"

"#9 VIRGINIA 32-22, 14-16 ACCLast Game: May 18, 2019 (Blacksburg, Va.) 8-4 loss, at Virginia TechStarting Pitcher: TBASeries History: Miami leads, 31-28Coral Gables: Miami leads, 15-13Charlottesville: Miami leads, 14-13Neutral Site: Miami leads, 1-0First Meeting: May 26, 1985 – Miami won, 11-6Last Meeting: April 14, 2019 – Miami won, 3-1Streak: Miami, six wins#5 NORTH CAROLINA 38-17, 17-13 ACCLast Game: May 18, 2019 (Chapel Hill, N.C.),11-0 loss, vs. NC StateStarting Pitcher: TBASeries History: Miami leads, 40-33-1Coral Gables: Miami leads, 25-12Chapel Hill: North Carolina leads, 18-12-1Neutral Site: Tied, 3-3First Meeting: March 8, 1976 – Miami won, 10-2Last Meeting: March 17, 2019 – UNC won, 8-5Streak: UNC, two winMiami Starters:Thursday vs. Virginia:Thursday: RHP Brian Van Belle, 8-2, 3.29 ERA, 82.0 IPFriday/Saturday:RHP Evan McKendry, 6-2, 4.58 ERA, 59.0 IP, RHP Chris McMahon, 3-2, 3.70 ERA, 56.0 IPCourtesy HurricaneSports.Com"

Miami’s game against Virginia on Thursday has essentially become meaningless for the Hurricanes. No matter what happens against the Cavaliers on Thursday Miami needs to win Friday’s game against North Carolina to advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals. The winner between UM and UNC is in the Semis.

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North Carolina won the final two games against Miami in Chapel Hill in March to take the series against the Hurricanes. The Tar Heels finished one game behind Miami in the ACC Baseball standings to earn the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament. Both teams are on track to host a regional next weekend.