The Miami Hurricanes (3-2) will travel to Jackie Robinson Stadium for a three-game series this weekend to take on the UCLA Bruins (1-2).
The series will mark the first meeting between the two schools since 2002, when Miami swept UCLA by scores of 8-7, 8-2 and 5-1. UM has also swept the overall series 8-0.
The Bruins opened up their season last weekend at home against Fresno State and only salvaged the final game of the three-game set.
Miami had a rough Sunday against Winthrop, losing both games of a doubleheader for the first time under Head Coach Jim Morris. UM will call on Carlos Gutierrez (2-0) to stop the losing streak in game one of the series against Hector Ambriz (0-1).
“This will be his [Gutierrez’s] toughest test,” Morris said. “One, he is on the road, and two, he is playing against the most talented team he has faced.”
The Hurricanes also must deal with a cross-country flight.
“These guys are very young,” Morris said. “I think we need to worry about me being tired, as old as I am.”
Despite UCLA being picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10, freshman leftfielder Blake Tekotte said the Bruins are not to be taken lightly.
“They are going to be very good; they have a lot of talent,” Tekotte said. “California is a very talented state for baseball.”
Tekotte has been an early catalyst for the team. He is second on the team in batting (.444) and leads in on-base percentage (.542). Tekotte uses his speed, stealing five bases in seven attempts.
The one sore spot of late for the Hurricanes is middle relief. Morris said no one has earned the setup job yet.
“[Andrew] Lane has done it in the past, but he has not done it this year,” Morris said. “Last year is last year. Last week is last week. You have got to do it everyday and you have to do it consistently.”
Start times for the weekend are 9 p.m. on Friday, 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Scheduling changes for next week were made because of the lighting situation at Mark Light Field. Wednesday’s game against Louisville has been moved up to 2 p.m. The Florida series next weekend will now take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.
Denis Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.