Baseball, Sports

Relief pitchers vital for team’s success this season

In baseball, a starting pitcher playing all nine innings doesn’t happen too often. Because of this, solid relief pitchers are vital to a team’s success. For the Hurricanes, sophomore Jesse Lepore and juniors Bryan Garcia and Cooper Hammond are there to take care of business when the starters come out.

Garcia is a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American second-team selection and has been named to the Preseason Stopper of the Year Award Watch List. Garcia is one of 70 players who were put on the list for the award that is given to the best relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

As Miami’s closer of the past two years, right-handed Garcia has been and will continue to be relied upon heavily to finish off games. He had an impressive season last year with 10 saves, a 2.50 ERA in 39.2 innings and a 6-2 record.

The talented 6-foot-1 player out of Columbus High School earned All-ACC third team honors for his performance in 2015. Garcia ranks No. 5 all-time in career saves at Miami with 25 and struck out 38 batters in 35 appearances last season.

Hammond is no slouch himself. Miami’s set-up reliever had a 2.25 ERA and a 5-1 record in 2015. The 6-foot-3, right-handed pitcher walked only nine batters all of last season while recording 30 strikeouts in 40 innings.

The bullpen took a hit when junior pitcher Derik Beauprez was dismissed from the team on Monday for a violation of team rules and standout sophomore Michael Mediavilla moved to the starting rotation, but Hammond and Garcia are good enough to make up for their absences.

“Miami’s greatest strength might be the bullpen. Bryan Garcia has plenty of experience closing games and Cooper Hammond has been very effective in a setup role,” national writer for Baseball America Teddy Cahill said in an email. “If some of the young starters step up like they’re expected to, Miami should have a good pitching staff.”

Lepore, another righty, only saw playing time in 10 games last season, but made the most of it by posting a 1.93 ERA. The 6-foot-4 player out of Beverly Hills, Florida struck out 10 batters in 14 innings in 2015. Lepore is currently battling for the mid-week starter’s job with freshman Andrew Cabezas.

Cabezas was drafted in the 34th round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians out of high school but chose to come to Miami instead. He’s one of three first-year pitchers with Isaiah Musa and Frankie Bartow also on the roster.

To close out the bullpen, the Canes also have redshirt freshmen Kevin Pimentel and Devin Meyer, redshirt junior Ryan Guerra and sophomore Daniel Epstein.

Expect to see a few of these pitchers in action during the three-game series Miami will play against Rutgers this weekend, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Mark Light Field.

February 17, 2016

Reporters

Isaiah Kim-Martinez

Isaiah Kim-Martinez can be reached on Twitter at @isaiah_km.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

View photos from the Syracuse at Miam ibasketball game on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Coral Gables. ...

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larrañaga took the opportunity after Saturday’s 62-55 loss ...

A bunch of Miami Hurricane youngsters — and one former Gator-turned-Cane — made the University of Mi ...

Arkansas State University followed through with its threat. ASU on Friday afternoon filed a lawsuit ...

A UM appeals committee has modified the athletic department’s rules restricting departing quarterbac ...

Members of the University of Miami first response teams remind us of resources available and what to ...

Mexican activist, poet and novelist Javier Sicilia deplored the violence stemming from the “drug war ...

From the North Pole to the South Pole and everywhere in between, the art of UM alumnus Xavier Cortad ...

A panel of University of Miami faculty talked about the impacts of climate change during a meeting o ...

Miami women's basketball notched an impressive 77-62 triumph Sunday at Virginia, giving head co ...

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 24 Miami raced out to an early lead but could not finish off a weekend swee ...

Freshman first baseman Alex Toral recorded his first home run as a Hurricane, and No. 24 Miami held ...

The Miami Hurricanes swimming & diving team saved its best for last, finishing off the ACC Swimm ...

The No. 25 University of Miami women's golf team heads to New Orleans this Sunday to compete in ...

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.