University of Miami

Miami baseball draws closer as Canes release 2020 schedule. Gators coming to Mark Light

The University of Miami baseball program got back to the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2016, but lost in the Starkville Regional final.

Now the Hurricanes — 41-20 overall and 18-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2019 — likely have loftier goals, as they finished the season ranked in the top 25 of every major poll.

The Canes released their 2020 baseball schedule Thursday, and, as usual, they’ll open the campaign at Mark Light Field with a three-game series against Rutgers — from Feb. 14-16.

“We always play one of the toughest schedules in the country year in and year out, and this season is no different,” UM coach Gino DiMare said in a release. “The ACC is consistently one of the top conferences in all of college baseball. Add in Florida and some of the other teams we play from across the state that are competing for conference championships and it should be a challenging schedule. I know our players and staff are looking forward to it.”

The always crowd-generating weekend Florida Gators series is from Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Light. The Gators fell in the Lubbock, Texas, regional last season, ending 2019 34-26 overall and 13-17 in the Southeastern Conference.

UM’s home schedule includes series with Pitt (March 6-8), Virginia (March 20-22), North Carolina (April 10-12), Louisville (April 17-19) and Clemson (May 8-10).

The Canes travel to Florida State (42-23, 17-13), which fell last season in the College World Series, April 24-26.

The Canes’ annual Alumni Game is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at Mark Light Field.

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.