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With eight consecutive conference losses and a 3-9 record over the last 12 games, this is not where the Hurricane baseball team hoped to be with three series remaining before the postseason.
There's a lot to fix, from inconsistent bats to numerous fielding errors (averaging almost two errors a game) to starting pitching that all of a sudden isn't quite so reliable.
Coach Jim Morris says a key for this team will be to simply play through the bad stretch without panicking and then get things going right again.
So how can this team get its confidence back?
"It's a hard thing to do," Morris said Thursday afternoon. "To me you get your confidence back by repetition, working hard, and we've talked about it. It's been kind of contagious some of the things that have happened defensively and offensively. They have to believe in themselves, each one of them individually. One guy gets a hit, another guy gets a hit - it's kind of a contagious type thing.
"We've had trouble catching and throwing the ball - it's not so much mental errors. It's physical errors. If you get out there thinking `Please don't hit me the ball,' then you're in trouble. And right now I have a feeling our guys, some guy are feeling `I don't want another ground ball, another fly ball.' You have to figure your way out of that, and it's an individual thing."
Friday night starter Eric Erickson said all the errors have an impact on the pitching staff.
"As much as you want to say it doesn't, it does - it kind of wears on you, adds a lot of pitches to your pitch count," Erickson said. "You have to try and get past it, keep pitching your game. But at times it's pretty challenging."
Up next for UM is a weekend series at home with Bethune-Cookman, which has a 28-18 record (16-4 MEAC).
"It's a huge series for us," Erickson said. "It would be a big momentum builder if we do well this weekend to hopefully carry us through the rest of the season. We have to get back on track, start winning some games."
The Wildcats are led offensively by Brashad Johnson (.355 average, tied for the team lead with nine doubles and has 19 stolen bases) and David Lee (.319, 35 runs scored). The team's top pitcher is senior Rayan Gonzalez, who has a 7-0 record and 2.25 ERA with three complete games.
Catcher Peter O'Brien, who remains out with a wrist injury, is very familiar with Gonzalez - O'Brien transferred from Bethune-Cookman this year.
"He's a great pitcher," O'Brien said. "He was drafted out of Puerto Rico in the 16th round out of high school, so that says a lot about him. He's a big guy, throws hard, has a lot of movement on his ball. It's not someone we can take lightly."
Morris said of Bethune-Cookman that "They've got some good wins. They're a good solid club and always play us well."
Miami has a 27-17 overall record and is 12-12 in ACC play. A solid finish and the team can still host a regional.
"We need to just play the game," Morris said. "Our RPI is 20, our ranking is 22nd - I know we've gone from 6th to 22nd in the USA Today poll. We just have to continue to put our head down and play hard."
The team has been hurt by the injury absence of O'Brien, who is the only player on the team hitting better than .300 - he leads the team with a .354 average and 10 home runs.
O'Brien said he hopes to return for the Wake Forest series starting May 11. He remains in a wrist brace with a hairline fracture and hopes to begin swinging next week. His initial prognosis was missing 4-6 weeks, and it will be three weeks out this Sunday.
"It's feeling a lot better," O'Brien said. "I've been doing a lot of treatment with the trainers and it's starting to come around. Hopefully I can swing a bat this week and be ready for Wake Forest. It's really tough to sit back and watch, not be able to do anything. It makes me that much hungrier for when I come back."
Morris added that "We'd like to have his bat in the lineup. It's very important to have his leadership, his hits knocking in runs."
* Eric Whaley missed his start last weekend with flu-like symptoms, and Morris hopes he'll be ready to start this weekend.
"He wasn't feeling so good yesterday, is feeling a little better today - he was still sick yesterday," Morris said.
* Asked if there's anything he can put his finger on that would help the pitching staff perform better, Erickson said, "No. It's most important we keep a positive attitude and try to build. That's the only choice we have right now."
* Morris said he benched Rony Rodriguez last weekend - "I felt like he wasn't giving us his best effort," Morris said.