Eye of the Hurricane

April 7, 2008

#1 In More Than One!

Filed under: sports, college — akean @ 4:25 pm
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Not only did the Hurricane baseball squad move up to number one in the most recent Baseball America poll, the team took over the top spot in the most recent ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll as well. The Canes are one of three ACC teams in the top four spots, as rival Florida State moved up one spot to No. 2 and North Carolina remained at No. 4.

A thirteen game winning streak at any level of baseball is incredible, but the Canes have made their most recent run without two of their top four starting pitchers. Southpaw ace Eric Erickson and midweek starter Jason Santana have each missed their last two scheduled starts with elbow trouble. Erickson was a last-minute scratch from Sunday’s finale against Clemson and should be on track to return to action this weekend against Georgia Tech.

Elbow tightness in developing pitchers is something that coaches and trainers cannot take lightly. Reconstructive elbow surgery has become more prevalent throughout all levels of baseball as pitchers are pushed to their limits. Fortunately for Hurricane fans, coach Jim Morris has the luxury of one of the country’s most potent offenses (9.7 runs/game, 1.013 team OPS) to offset the innings that Erickson and Santana have missed.

Having an overall deep pitching staff and a rock-solid bullpen can’t hurt either. Ten different Hurricane pitchers have recorded a win this season, and relievers Kyle Bellamy (0.40 ERA, 2 SV) and Carlos Gutierrez (1.83 ERA, 8 SV) have been near-perfect in the late innings. Even without his go-to guy on the mound these past two Friday nights, Morris has been able to expect a good outing from whoever he throws out there.

Having Erickson and Santana back in a few games will only make the nation’s best team that much better.

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1 Comment »

  1. This is the first time they’ve been #1 since 2004.

    Comment by csnymiami — April 8, 2008 @ 12:36 pm | Reply


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