Canes' Head to Durham for ACC Tournament

Canes' Head to Durham for ACC Tournament

Lance Roffers
The Miami Hurricanes will carry a 27-25 overall record into the 2018 ACC Tournament as the #7 seed in a pool paired with #2 seed Clemson and #10 seed Notre Dame. Miami finished the season with a 16-13 record in the ACC and completed series wins over both of the teams in their respective pool.

ACC Bracket:

Pool A- UNC (1), Georgia Tech (8), Pittsburgh (12)

Pool B- Clemson (2), Miami (7), Notre Dame (11)

Pool C- NC State (3), Florida State (6), Virginia (10)

Pool D- Duke (4), Louisville (5), Wake Forest (9)

Miami will open pool play on Tuesday at 7 pm vs. Notre Dame. Look for Miami to start Junior right-hander Andrew Cabezas (6-4, 4.12 ERA, 67 2/3 IP, 47 H, 39 BB, 74 K's) in this game, as he was skipped last weekend and has served as the mid-week starter in recent weeks. It'll be all-hands-on-deck in this game, as Miami must win.

Game two will be played on Thursday at 7 pm vs. Clemson. Look for Miami to send their ace, Senior left-hander Jeb Bargfeldt (4-4, 3.20 ERA, 95 2/3 IP, 77 H, 25 BB, 71 K's), in that game against Clemson’s ace, Sophomore left-hander Jake Higginbotham (6-1, 3.18 ERA, 70 2/3 IP, 61 H, 27 BB, 57 K's).

What’s at Stake?

For Miami, this is their last opportunity to make a case for the NCAA tournament. Truly, to get an invite they are going to need to win the tournament. Miami took two of three against Notre Dame at home to start ACC play, losing the Sunday game 9-5. In that game, Andrew Cabezas really struggled with his control and lost a late lead. In games one and two, Miami shut out Notre Dame.

Miami took two of three at Clemson in mid-April, completing an improbable comeback in game one to steal a victory. Jeb Bargfeldt started that game and struggled mightily, allowing six earned runs in six innings pitched. That doesn’t tell the whole story though, as Bargfeldt allowed all six runs in the first two innings before settling down and pitching four scoreless innings to end his day.

The lineup for Miami matches up fairly well against Clemson as their top two starters are left-handed and Miami presents a predominantly right-handed lineup. Clemson has an ace closer in Ryley Gilliam (2-2, 11 saves, 0.79 ERA, 34 1/3 IP, 50 K’s), so the Canes will want to be sure they are not trailing late in that one.

How does Miami advance?

Under the current format of the ACC baseball tournament, Miami must win both games against Notre Dame and Clemson to advance. This is because the tiebreaker scenario favors the highest seed (Clemson). This makes their initial game versus Notre Dame a de facto elimination game, followed by another elimination game against Clemson. There is no scenario that Miami can advance by going 1-1 in pool play.

History at this tournament:

Miami has won the ACC conference tournament only previous time; in 2008. Miami went 4-0 that year and advanced all the way to Omaha and the College World Series. Overall, Miami has a 9-12 record in the ACC tournament while Clemson has gone 100-62 with 10 titles overall. Notre Dame will be making their second appearance in the tournament and have a record of 1-2 overall.

Prediction:

Miami is playing the best baseball of the season; winners of ten straight games. The pitching has been solid for much of the year, but the offense has emerged from their cold spring and heated up during their winning streak, averaging 8.2 runs per game compared to just 4.0 runs per game prior to this streak. Miami has hit .312/.431/.438 during this stretch, which translates to a wOBA of .427. The Canes have also been active on the base paths, stealing 21 bases and being caught only four times during this stretch.

Given their history, it is difficult to predict a championship, but I do expect Miami to beat Notre Dame in game one, then compete very well against Clemson. The Tigers have succeeded this season mostly on their backs of their offense, with several fearsome hitters in their lineup, including Seth Beer (ACC-leading 19 home runs), while featuring three hitters who finished in the top-12 of the ACC for home runs. Miami has succeeded mostly with pitching, as their weekend rotation of Bargfeldt, McKendry, Cabezas have combined for 259 strikeouts, which is the second-best trio of any ACC team (Florida State’s trio of Karp, Sands, Parrish combined for 285).

I predict that Miami gets to Saturday, where Miami has a chance against any team in the conference if Evan McKendry is consistently throwing strikes. McKendry ended the regular season in second place with 114 strikeouts (Griffin Roberts, Wake Forest led with 124 strikeouts) and his devastating changeup is a true swing-and-miss pitch.

Miami probably has a case of too-little-too-late to end the season but playing as well as anyone and with the arms that they have, Miami has a real shot to steal a bid.
 

Comments (95)

It's going to be tough to beat Clemson 3/4 this year. Bargfeldt got hit pretty hard against Clemson earlier in the year, let's see how he bounces back. They have a deep lineup.
 
We have a losing record all time in the ACCT? That's pretty weak.
 
Powerhouse Pittsburgh grabbed the 12 seed... Suprising. I was told they were much better than that.
 
Powerhouse Pittsburgh grabbed the 12 seed... Suprising. I was told they were much better than that.

Only a complete buffoon would bring attention back to himself on this topic. You must be a glutton for punishment.

Pittsburgh 2 Miami 1
Pittsburgh 3 Miami 0
Miami 3 Pittsburgh 0

This was after PGrady told us that northern teams can't compete with Miami.
 
If we could beat teams like Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Maine, we wouldn't need to win 14 straight games just to make the field of 64.

But, then again, Maine has a covered batting cage.
 
"There's no way they (Pitt) can match our talent, even with the gaping holes on the roster."
"If you think Pitt has anywhere near the baseball talent Miami has you're wrong."


PGrady then took a four day hiatus while we lost the series to Pitt at home.
 
Hey Hockey guy, I found a comment from last season when we played AT Pittsburgh (since you like to dig up old comments so much I decided to try it). You wrote this April of last year (2017).

"In a normal year we could say that it's fine to get out of a crappy northern town with a series win. After the losses to Duke and FGCU, though, this needed to be a sweep. We've really given ourselves zero margin for error at this point."
 
Hey Hockey guy, I found a comment from last season when we played AT Pittsburgh (since you like to dig up old comments so much I decided to try it). You wrote this April of last year (2017).

"In a normal year we could say that it's fine to get out of a crappy northern town with a series win. After the losses to Duke and FGCU, though, this needed to be a sweep. We've really given ourselves zero margin for error at this point."

Yes, it needed to be a sweep last year and this year if we had any hope of making the post-season. I stand by that 100%. What you didn't find was any quote about how Pittsburgh can't compete with us. Just own what you wrote, as idiotic as it was.
 
If we were fortunate enough to get to the ACC title game, anyone have an idea what our RPI would look like at that point?

I know we're far too low currently, but it seems to me that SEC and ACC teams would benefit most, RPI-wise, from beating top 50 RPI ranked teams (assuming it isn't UVA in a semifinal game). I know it's a neutral site, but I seem to recall that RPI bonus points are awarded for quality wins, e.g. beat Clemson then NC St/FSU.
 
If we were fortunate enough to get to the ACC title game, anyone have an idea what our RPI would look like at that point?

I know we're far too low currently, but it seems to me that SEC and ACC teams would benefit most, RPI-wise, from beating top 50 RPI ranked teams (assuming it isn't UVA in a semifinal game). I know it's a neutral site, but I seem to recall that RPI bonus points are awarded for quality wins, e.g. beat Clemson then NC St/FSU.

According to BA, there are 7/8 teams ahead of us on the wrong side of the bubble as of May 16th. Beating Clemson and FSU/NCSU would give us two key wins against host teams, but not sure if it would be enough of an RPI jump.

Last Four In
  • Michigan
  • Washington
  • Baylor
  • Troy
First Four Out
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Mississippi State
  • Purdue
  • South Alabama
Next Four Out
  • Georgia Tech
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Miami/SDSU
 
According to BA, there are 7/8 teams ahead of us on the wrong side of the bubble as of May 16th. Beating Clemson and FSU/NCSU would give us two key wins against host teams, but not sure if it would be enough of an RPI jump.

Last Four In
  • Michigan
  • Washington
  • Baylor
  • Troy
First Four Out
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Mississippi State
  • Purdue
  • South Alabama
Next Four Out
  • Georgia Tech
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana-Lafayette
  • Miami/SDSU


Ok, thanks.

Let's hope we win our first three and can do some scoreboard watching. Three in a row will be tough enough, and I don't see us beating NC who I expect will be in the title game.
 
Ok, thanks.

Let's hope we win our first three and can do some scoreboard watching. Three in a row will be tough enough, and I don't see us beating NC who I expect will be in the title game.

We have the starting pitching to do it, hopefully we can score enough runs to keep the streak going. And yes, we need to hope for the teams ahead of us to show poorly and for minimal upsets in other conference tournaments.
 
I expect good starting pitching, poor defense, stranded base runners, one million strikeouts, and a heaping helping of ground outs.

1-2 bbq
 
I expect good starting pitching, poor defense, stranded base runners, one million strikeouts, and a heaping helping of ground outs.

1-2 bbq

We have to go 2-0 to win our pool and move on so 1-2 is not possible. But everything else is highly likely
 
Looking through the D1Baseball chat, Aaron Fitt said we needed the auto bid (left a very slim chance if we win the first three). The very next question Kendall Rogers said we should be fine if we just get to the title game (although he seemed a little confused as to the format).
 
I expect good starting pitching, poor defense, stranded base runners, one million strikeouts, and a heaping helping of ground outs.

1-2 bbq
Don’t forget the bullpen blowing a late lead. That and the defense are my biggest concerns. I think we’re hitting just enough to be ok with our starting pitching if the first two factors don’t do us in.

The good thing about starting Tuesday with Cabezas on full rest is that if we make the title game he can probably start again.
 
We have to go 2-0 to win our pool and move on so 1-2 is not possible. But everything else is highly likely

Couldn't we go 1-1 and then play some stupid consolation game? If not, nevermind. 1-1 bbq.
 
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