Camardese shines under pressure in Tallahassee

The Miami Hurricanes accomplished a feat Sunday that they had not done in their first 119 tries. They shut out their rival Florida State at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee and it was largely in part to the starting pitching they got from junior Brandon Camardese. The left-hander was virtually untouchable as he went six and two thirds innings, only giving up one hit and striking out three.

Camardese was able to shut down an offense that had recently been on fire and he enjoyed every minute of it.

“It felt real good,” Camardese said. “It was the first time it happened in school history, so to be the one out there on the mound was real exciting.”

Camardese has been in the third spot in the rotation all season long and has had his ups and downs.

“He hasn’t been quite as consistent as we would like to see him be,” Head Coach Jim Morris said. “Two weeks ago he dominated, a week ago he didn’t, and then this week he did. We need him to come out and do it every day because he’s shown that he has that potential.”

The lefty caught the pro scouts’ eyes in high school when he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the seventh round of the 2001 amateur draft, but he chose to attend the school that he has loved ever since he was a little kid. Growing up only 30 miles away in nearby Cooper City, Fla., Camardese has always been a ‘Canes fan, which was a big part of why he chose college over the pros.

“I chose to come to Miami because just in case the pros never work out, at least I will have a degree and have something to fall back on,” Camardese said.

After making a team-high 18 starts in 2003 in which he went 9-2 with a 5.00 ERA in 88 innings, Camardese headed to the Cape Cod League where he played for the Orleans Cardinals for the summer. He went 3-1 with a 1.08 ERA in six starts for the Cardinals. Camardese felt that it was a great opportunity for him to get better on the mound.

“It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun,” Camardese said. “I got to face all of the best hitters in the nation, so it felt good to do well against them.”

Camardese is like many pitchers when it comes to dealing with pressure: he doesn’t feel it. Even against bitter rivals like Florida State, he is able to go out there and have fun. In this stretch of tough games that will decide Miami’s fate this season, the Hurricanes will be counting on Camardese to be the dominating pitcher he has been at times the last two seasons.

Miami hosts Florida State this weekend for a three game series starting tonight at 7 p.m. at Mark Light Field. Camardese will get the start Sunday at 1 p.m.

Douglas Kroll can be contacted at