The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Canes vs. Noles - Baseball just like Football

While the Seminoles were able to salvage something from the weekend with a 13 - 1 blowout win yesterday, it was a tough weekend for the young Noles - as they lost two out of three games to the Hurricanes in Coral Gables.

I carefully chose to say that the Noles lost two out of the three games - instead of saying that the Canes won two out of the three. To say that the Canes won the Friday and Saturday night matchups would be factually correct, but not entirely accurate either.

Honestly, this weekend's baseball series was much like the script that has played out so many times in recent years between the Canes and the Noles on the football field. The Noles dominate the Canes for much of the game, but eventually the Noles (usually via their kicker) find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Friday night's game was essentially decided in the bottom of the 8th inning. It appeared that the Canes had squandered their third bases-loaded opportunity of the night, but when Noles shortstop Ryne Jernigan tried to make the play at second himself to start what should have been an inning ending double play, he failed to reach second before the runner. As a result, the runner at second was safe and the Noles were not out of the inning. Jernigan later made an error on a routine grounder, which allowed the Canes rally to continue. To make things worse for poor Jernigan, he even fouled out to the catcher to end the game in the 9th.

How bad of a night was it on Friday for Jernigan? On Friday night, he wore number 8. By Saturday night, he had switched to number 56 - which was so new that he was the only player not to have his name stitched on above his number.

Fortunately for Jernigan, the number change was enough to shift the bad luck away. Unfortunately for Florida State, the bad luck didn't move to the Canes dugout - instead it shifted to the Noles outfield.

Seminoles' right fielder Ruairi O'Connor played the role of Florida State's kicker on Saturday night, as he dropped not one - but two - foul balls in the early going. Those drops ultimately led to baserunners and runs. O'Connor was replaced and the Canes went on to win the game.

Overall it was a good series for the Canes, as they won two out of three games and inched closer to the top of the conference standings (as Georgia Tech was swept by Virginia - who Miami will face in a few weeks). The wins for the Canes were not dominating though, and questions still loom as to how far this team will be able to go in the post-season.


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