The baseball team got off on the right foot in its inaugural series in the ACC last weekend after taking two of three from the visiting N.C. State Wolfpack. This weekend, Miami will look to build its conference resume when the Duke Blue Devils come to town.
The ‘Canes have been led by sophomore leftfielder Jon Jay, who has torn the cover off the baseball so far this season with a nearly .540 batting average. The Hurricanes sit at 14-4 overall after a Tuesday night win over Pittsburgh 3-0 and a canceled game due to rain Wednesday against Quinnipiac. As for their series with Duke, they will be missing a familiar face.
Sophomore pitcher Chris Perez was arrested last week for a DUI and has been suspended for the time being. Head Coach Jim Morris did not know how long it would be before Perez would be back in action, but as of now, it looks like a suspension, not an expulsion, will be the only thing in store for the right-hander.
With Perez out, that leaves the Sunday starting pitching slot open for competition between a couple hurlers on the Hurricane staff. For now, Morris isn’t sure who will get the nod come this Sunday. One name being mentioned is Brandon Camardese, who started last Sunday in place of Perez against the Wolfpack, but only lasted three innings, giving up five hits and two runs.
As for Friday, it will be the ACC pitcher of the week on the mound for Miami in the form of Cesar Carrillo. Carrillo went 7.1 innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters, and gave up one run on only three hits. Saturday will feature senior Dan Touchet on the hill looking to rebound after getting roughed up a week ago. Touchet gave up seven runs in only 2.1 innings of work on seven hits.
Duke will come to Mark Light Field as a team picked to finish last in the ACC. So far this season it is living up to the low expectations with a 6-11 record, 0-3 in the ACC, after Georgia Tech swept the Blue Devils last weekend. Morris knows though no one can be taken lightly, however.
“We have to go into every game knowing that anyone can beat anyone on any day,” Morris said. “Just look at us last week. We have 11 scholarship guys and we beat the Marlins, who have a 66-million-dollar payroll.”
In their last series against the Yellow Jackets, the Blue Devils gave up 41 runs in the three-game set while only scoring 11.
The series gets underway on Friday night at the Light at 7 p.m. and continues on Saturday at the same time. The finale will take place Sunday with the first pitch at 1 p.m.
All three games can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM.
Douglas C. Kroll can be contacted at email@example.com