Gino DiMare on first game as Miami coach: ‘It feels very normal’
The Miami Hurricanes still have a chance to win the 2019 College World Series, but it will no doubt be an even greater challenge.
The NCAA on Sunday night announced the 16 sites for the first round of the Division I Baseball Tournament, and the Hurricanes, teetering on the hosting bubble after losing Friday to eventual Atlantic Coast Conference tournament champion North Carolina, were not selected as a regional host.
Miami (39-18, 18-12 ACC), led by first-year head coach Gino DiMare, will learn Monday where it will travel next weekend for the first round of the tournament. The field of 64 teams and their regional destinations — four teams per regional — will be announced live between noon and 1 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Hurricanes, who on Sunday evening had an RPI of 17 of 299 Division I college teams, will play in the tournament for the first time since 2016 after seeing their national-record 44-year tournament streak snapped in 2017. They also failed to make the tournament last season.
Regional teams are not allowed to face fellow conference members, so any of the 16 regionals with ACC teams will not be possibilities for UM. Should UM win its regional, it would likely have to travel for a best-of-three-game, two-team super regional the weekend of June 7. The surviving eight teams qualify for the College World Series, which begins in Omaha, Nebraska June 15, and runs through June 25 or 26.
The ACC teams that will host regionals are UNC, Louisville and Georgia Tech.
Before the sites were announced, Baseball America projected that UM would play in Morgantown, West Virgina, in a regional hosted by the WVU Mountaineers. D1Baseball projected that the Canes would play in Baton Rouge in a regional hosted by LSU.
Despite winning 11 of their last 14 regular-season games, the Canes’ loss in 11 innings to UNC (42-17, 17-13) on Friday after leading 5-0 was a major blow to their chance of hosting, worsened when the Tar Heels went on to win the next two tournament games and boost their RPI to No. 12 as of Sunday. Even though the Hurricanes’ ACC record was a bit better than UNC’s, they lost three of four to the Tar Heels this season.
The last time the Canes traveled to a regional was in 2013, when they were eliminated in the Louisville Regional, a bit more than a year before Louisville joined the ACC. UM, national champions in 1982, ‘85, ‘99 and ‘01, has hosted 27 regionals, won 30 regional titles and has advanced to the College World Series 25 times.
UM last competed in the CWS in 2016.
Miami made it clear on social media Saturday that it believes it deserved to host a regional, posting on its Canes Baseball Twitter feed that “We’ve go our eyes focused on the postseason.’’ Under that quote was this statement by DiMare: “This team can be dangerous. I think it deserves to host. It deserves the NCAA’s respect certainly. It’s a young team. It’s a fun team to watch, you know that. Our place is a great place to have a regional because I’ve been part of a lot of them. Had a lot of great games over the years. Wherever they put us, we’ll accept it. That’s the way it goes, and we’ll be read to play.’’
Here are the 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records:
Athens, Georgia: Georgia (44-15)
Atlanta: Georgia Tech (41-17)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: LSU (37-24)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: UNC (42-17)
Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State (36-18-1)
Fayetteville, Arkansas: Arkansas (41-17)
Greenville, North Carolina: East Carolina (43-15)
Los Angeles: UCLA (47-8)
Louisville, Kentucky: Louisville (43-15)
Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech (39-17)
Morgantown, West Virgina: West Virginia (37-20)
Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt (49-10)
Oxford, Mississippi: Ole Miss (37-25)
Stanford, California: Stanford (41-11)
Starkville, Mississippi: Mississippi State (46-13)
Stillwater, Oklahoma: Oklahoma State (35-18)