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

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Former pro wrestler and promoter The Tennessee Stud Ron Fuller was interviewed by Ryan K. Boman of T ...

The University of Miami has its future quarterback. Jarren Williams, a consensus four-star, dual-thr ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Through its new Leadership UMiami program, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership is empowerin ...

A Biomedical Engineering Major and campus leader, Sterile Achille involved herself in many activitie ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara is excited to announce a fou ...

University of Miami women's volleyball player Brooke McDermott is an active member in the Hurri ...

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.