Just when you though things couldn't get any worse for the Miami Hurricanes baseball team, they did. After getting stoned to death by little ol' Stony Brook on Friday night by the humbling score of 10-2, Miami head coach Jim Morris and his team apparently hadn't had enough.
So on Saturday Miami returned for another beating, this time all about the head and neck, in another losing effort in a loser's bracket game to Missouri State. Miami lost by the shocking score of 12-2, which effectively eliminated the Hurricanes from their own Regional Tournament at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Stadium in Coral Gables.
The Hurricanes were basically pushed around and kicked out of their own home and later found left laying helpless somewhere out in left field where they will be forced to watch in-state rival UCF battle Stony Brook or Missouri State for the Coral Gables Regional Championship.
Miami lost the two games by a combined score of 22-4 to Stony Brook and Missouri Sate. Now that's definitely gonna leave a mark. Maybe several.
The worst part is that the Hurricanes lost the games at home in front of their always supportive but now somehwat conflicted home town fans. Several Miami fans vented their obvious frustrations after the humilating loss and a few even called for Morris to resign or be fired.
For the record I support Jim Morris and would like for him to leave the UM program on his own terms when he is ready. If that is now or in another year or two or more then that is fine with me. After all he has won two National Championships and has taken the 'Canes to the post-season on a regular and consistent basis.
I will admit that the quality of play has declined since 2009 and the lack of post-season success over the last 4 years has not been up to par with Miami's past success and is reason for concern. Morris has been at Miami for 19 years and it is possible that winning may not be quite as important as it once was and that the dynamics of the team may be getting stale.
Nineteen years is a LONG time to do anything, much less be a head baseball coach at one university.
Yet please remember that while Morris is ultimately responsible for the product on the field he was not pitching, hitting or fielding the ball yesterday or Friday. An equal share of blame must be placed on his assistants, pitching coach JD Arteaga and hiting and fielding coach Gino DiMare.
It is a fact that Miami's pitching did them no favors in the Regional (22 runs in two games) and that the Canes batting average (.260) and fielding % (.955) were among the lowest in the ACC this season.
Still, with a combined 57 years of college baesball experience, Morris, Arteaga and DiMare have forgotten more about baseball than most fans will ever know. The tough question remains though: Can they win a CWS title and bring home a National Championship again? That question remains to be answered.
After the game skipper Jim Morris had this to say about the game, the team, the fans and the season:
Opening Statement: “First of all, like to congratulate Missouri State; they played very well. Outstanding club, Johnsons an outstanding pitcher. He pitched very well against us and the entire team played good. Very discouraging end for us. When you’re the host you’d like to think you have a good chance to win when you’re the number one seed. Right now we’re going to meet as a team on Tuesday. A lot of thoughts going through my head right now but number one on my mind is to get Miami baseball back to where Miami baseball been for many years.”
Reaction in clubhouse: “I had a very short meeting cause I want to collect my thoughts before talking to the team.”
On mistakes uncharacteristic of Miami baseball: “We didn’t make any mistakes today. We played good defense. We’re not a club that scores a lot of runs, ever. We got to pitch. We got down big. It’s very difficult for this team to come back…Today’s game was a crazy game…It’s a tough loss. I’d rather have lost today than the way we lost yesterday. Today we got beat.”
On fan’s frustration: “I mean, first of all, I understand our fans are very spoiled and I know they’re frustrated, you know, I’m not crazy… We’re very spoiled. We’re expected to go to Omaha every year. It’s a very, very tough thing. I can only say that we got to get better. We got to get better recruiting
classes, got to coach better as a staff, execute better as a team and we’re addressing that and were talking about it.”
On evaluating the baseball program: “I do this every year whether we win a national championship or we finish the way we finished today. I sit and think a lot personally. I write down things, get my coaching staff together, talk to them about what we need to do to get better as players, as coaches in all phases of the game…and then its time to recruit.”