Baseball, Sports

Solid starters, new catcher show promise

Zach Beeker//The Miami Hurricane

A note to drivers, bikers and pedestrians that frequent the corner of Ponce De Leon Boulevard and San Amaro Drive: beware of foul balls, because Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field is open for business.

The 13th-ranked University of Miami baseball team will begin its 2012 season Friday night against Rutgers. It’s the fourth consecutive year that the teams will meet on opening weekend.

“Teams change so much … in college baseball, with guys signing pro and graduating and all those variables,” said coach Jim  Morris, now in his 19th season at the helm for the Hurricanes. “The fact is that Rutgers will have a lot of new guys in the lineup. This opening series, you don’t have a very good scouting report.”

Miami comes into the season with one of the best pitching rotations in the country, returning all of its starters from last season, albeit with a couple of changes.

Junior EJ Encinosa, who pitched on Sundays for the Hurricanes in 2011, has moved to the bullpen and is the leading candidate to be Miami’s closer. Graduate student Eric Erickson, who last pitched for the Hurricanes in 2010 and is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, will move into the Friday night starter’s slot.

“It’s a talented rotation and it’s one that I go to bed feeling good about at night,” pitching coach JD Arteaga said. “But they’ve still got to stay healthy and still got to get people out.”

Miami’s starting staff finished with a combined 3.04 earned run average in 2011, and a 2.90 ERA when taking Encinosa out of the equation, who struggled towards the end of the season.

After Erickson opens up the Rutgers series, junior Eric Whaley will start on Saturday night, while sophomore Bryan Radziewski will close things out on Sunday afternoon. Junior Steven Ewing will pitch on weeknights for Miami and will get his first start on Wednesday at Florida Gulf Coast.

Morris said the starters will be held to 80-pitch limits, and the pitch count will be pushed to 90 for next weekend’s series.

Aside from Erickson’s return and the big potential for the starting rotation, the other big news heading into this season is the addition of senior catcher Peter O’Brien, who transferred to Miami from Bethune-Cookman University to be closer to his family.

He was drafted in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft by Colorado, and finished three years of baseball at Cookman with a .336 batting average, 154 RBI and 38 homeruns.

February 16, 2012

Reporters

Adam Berger

Staff Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Hurricanes have become part of college football’s national conversation, and the more wins they ...

Kicker Michael Badgley will soon become the University of Miami’s all-time field goal leader. In the ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt called Darrell Langham’s amazing, 28-yard catch on fourth-and-1 ...

Darrell Langham is 6-4, but might as well be 8-4 — that’s how much he has grown in stature for the M ...

The Miami Hurricanes have done it again. For the second week in a row, the Canes rallied to win in t ...

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 ...

Hurricanes legends Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor were officially ad ...

University of Miami wide receiver Darrell Langham and kicker Michael Badgley were among those recogn ...

University of Miami redshirt setter Haley Templeton was named ACC Player of the Week, the conference ...

Freshman Bojan Jankulovski highlighted Day 2 competition on Saturday for the University of Miami men ...

The University of Miami's football game at North Carolina on Oct. 28 will kick off at noon ET 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.