Sports

Baseball: ‘Canes travel to Gainesville for rivalry series

The University of Miami baseball team will look to take the momentum they captured in sweeping UCLA up to Gainesville this weekend for a three game series with rivals the Florida Gators.

After being swept by the Gators at home last season, the ‘Canes will look for revenge behind the bat of first baseman Yonder Alonso and a suddenly hot pitching staff that, aside from the late innings on Saturday night, was dominant all weekend against the Bruins.

Although the Gators are not as highly touted coming into this year’s series as they were last year, when they were ranked No. 2, Head Coach Jim Morris will not take this weekend lightly.

“Sometimes you’re better off with unproven guys,” Morris said. “Sometimes new blood isn’t bad for your team. They still have Matt LaPorta, and he is one of the best hitters in the country. They always play us tough.”

LaPorta, a senior and the 2005 SEC Player of the Year, has been a dominant figure in this rivalry over the past three years and will look to extend his reign of terror. However, Miami will trot out their own masher in Alonso, who is coming off another big weekend which included a two homerun, four hit Saturday night.

“Yonder is an outstanding hitter,” Morris said. “He has started out hot at the plate, and his hitting is definitely the strength of his game.”

Alonso, along with centerfielder Blake Tekotte and third baseman Gus Menendez, has lead Miami’s offense early in the season. However, just as critical in this road opener against a big time rival in a hostile environment will be the leadership provided by seniors such as shortstop Roger Tomas.

“I don’t consider practice to be tenser during this week,” Tomas said. “I try to relax everyone, make jokes; practice the same. We try to make it so we are not playing UF, just another good team.”

While Miami’s pitching improved last weekend, it can still expect a very tough test against the Gators, who Morris said historically play the ‘Canes with more tenacity than any of their other opponents.

“My teams haven’t been very successful against UF at UF. They play us tougher than anyone,” Morris said. “It is going to be cold and we will have to adjust. We will learn things about our team and we look forward to it.”

As with any rivalry match-up, this series will be an exciting battle between two well matched teams with a long history. These teams have played 207 times, with Miami holding the all-time advantage 116-90, with one tie.

Both teams will be full of adrenalin and would like nothing more than to prove their dominance over the other early on in the season.

“Everyone’s excited,” Tomas said. “We look forward to it. It is always better to beat someone at their place.”

Dan Stein may be contacted at d.stein4@umiami.edu.

February 16, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.