Eye of the Hurricane

February 17, 2011

New season to commence tomorrow for Canes baseball

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidfurones @ 11:43 am

Baseball at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field will begin anew this weekend as the No. 24 Miami Hurricanes start a three-game weekend series with Rutgers for the third consecutive season.

The team is led this year by junior third baseman and Preseason All-American Harold Martinez who last season hit .295 and belted a team-high 21 home runs. For Martinez, and all the other juniors on this team, this season’s about taking that proverbial next step.

Two seasons ago, the baseball team was eliminated in the double elimination Gainesville Regional after losing twice to Florida. The next season they advanced further, hosting and winning a Regional and then getting their re-match against the Gators in a Super Regional, but once again fell short. The goal for the upcoming season is to get past the Super Regional round and into Omaha for the College World Series.

It won’t be easy for Martinez and the rest of the squad as several key players have moved on including All-American catcher Yasmani Grandal, now with the Cincinnati Reds, and left-handed starter Chris Hernandez, who was taken in the seventh round by the Red Sox.

The Friday night starter has been named lefty Bryan Radziewski in an unprecedented move to open a season with a freshman starting pitcher. Coach Jim Morris says it’s the first time it happens since he took over in 1994 and believes it’s a first in UM’s history. Sophomore E.J. Encinosa will take his nasty slider to the mound as the Saturday night starter and Eric Whaley will get the nod Sunday afternoon.

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