The University of Miami baseball team (9-6) looks to build on its three-game sweep of Bethune-Cookman when Indiana University (0-3) comes to Coral Gables this weekend.
Friday and Saturday’s game will be played at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s game will start at 1 p.m.
Miami will send Carlos Gutierrez, Manny Miguelez and Scott Maine to the mound this weekend. The group has a combined 7-2 record and a 2.27 ERA.
“All of the guys have stepped it up,” said catcher Eddy Rodriguez. “No one expected Carlos to come out of nowhere, from pitching eight total innings last year to being our ace this year.”
Indiana was swept last weekend in Charlotte. The Hoosiers lost the three games by a combined score of 29-14. All three Indiana starters could not make it past the fifth inning in any of the games.
The Hurricanes will look to expose the pitching problems of Indiana this weekend, but Rodriguez said they are built on pitching.
“Our pitching will keep us in the game,” Rodriguez said. “All we have to do is give them a couple of runs.”
Part of the pitching success can be attributed to improved defense. Through 15 games this season, Miami has committed only 13 errors, as opposed to 23 errors committed by the team last year at this point.
Junior Chris Perez is one of the few upperclassmen on the team, and he said that the pitching has been a key to its success.
“This is the best stretch of starting pitching I have seen since I have been here,” Perez said.
Indiana is coming off a sub-.500 season, but the team returns a majority of its starters. The Hoosiers are led by new manager Tracy Smith. Smith spent nine years at Miami of Ohio, amassing a 317-220-1 record. The Bobcats reached the 30-win plateau eight straight seasons in his tenure.
“They are a good team,” Gutierrez said. “We are going to go out there like they are the No. 1 team.”
This is the mindset the Hurricanes will take before they reach conference play.
“We’re heading into the important part of our schedule,” Rodriguez said. “We have to make sure we play well in the ACC so that we will get a nice bid in the NCAA tournament.”
All of the games this weekend can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM.
Denis Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.