Miami Hurricanes release 2018 baseball schedule ahead of Jim Morris' final season

Schedule includes visits from Florida, North Carolina, trips to Clemson, FSU

Miami coach Jim Morris looks over team practice at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, June 12, 2015.
Miami coach Jim Morris looks over team practice at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, June 12, 2015. (Mike Theiler/AP Photo)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes released their 2018 baseball schedule Wednesday in what will be the final season for head coach Jim Morris.

Miami opens its 25th season under Morris with 13 of its first 16 games at home, highlighted by defending national champion Florida. 

The Gators visit Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on the last weekend in February. Florida swept the Hurricanes in Gainesville last season.

Rutgers travels to Coral Gables for the season-opening series Feb. 16-18. Missouri then visits Feb. 21 for a midweek game before the Florida series.

The Hurricanes won't leave the state of Florida for the first time until a three-game series against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Duke on March 16-18. Their only road trips during that span are midweek games at Florida Atlantic (Feb. 28), Florida International (March 7) and Central Florida (March 14).

Among ACC opponents, Miami will host Notre Dame (March 9-11), Virginia (March 23-25), North Carolina (April 6-8), Pittsburgh (April 20-22) and Boston College (May 17-19). Miami's ACC road schedule includes trips to Georgia Tech (March 30-April 1), Clemson (April 13-15) and Florida State (April 27-29).

"We always play one of the tougher schedules in the country year in and year out, and this is another tough one," Morris said. "We play in one of the top conferences, if not the top conference, in all of college baseball in the ACC. You throw Florida in and some of the other teams we play from down south, the kinds of teams who are competing for conference championships, and it should be another exciting spring."

Miami had its NCAA-record 44-year postseason streak snapped last season. The Hurricanes missed the NCAA tournament this year for the first time since 1972.

Morris, who has led the Hurricanes to the College World Series 13 times in his 24 seasons at the helm, announced in 2014 that he would step down after the 2018 season. Longtime assistant coach Gino DiMare will take over.

Will there be one more trip to Omaha in Morris' future?

"It's a very challenging schedule, which is important to us, because that's how our players get better and that's what prepares our guys for the NCAA postseason," Morris said.

The Hurricanes won the 1999 and 2001 national championships under Morris, who has a 1,062-446-3 record at Miami.