Last weekend’s series against Florida was the first time in four years that the baseball team was swept at home in a three-game series.
Head Coach Jim Morris is spending the week of practice before the next series against Bethune-Cookman (3-7) this weekend making sure his squad is ready to play.
“If we go into this weekend thinking it is going to be an easy sweep then we are in trouble,” Morris said.
The veteran leaders on the team, like Jon Jay, helped the team refocus this week.
“We pretty much got last weekend behind us,” Jay said. “We need to make adjustments from the games we played, because we have a lot of games ahead of us.”
Morris said he is not set on one starting lineup as of yet, but he will continue to search for the right match. Last weekend leftfielder Blake Tekotte dropped from leadoff to ninth in the order and first basemen Yonder Alonso batted cleanup during the Friday game against Florida.
Morris said he was not worried with pitcher Scott Maine’s struggles against the Gators. It was his first start in three years, so excitement was more the problem than poor pitching.
Friday’s game will be the fifth of a 16-game home stand for the Hurricanes.
“We are excited that we are going to be at home,” Jay said. “We just need to start showing that we are a better team than the way we have been playing.”
One Hurricane that has been extremely productive is Alonso. In 12 games, Alonso has 18 runs batted in. This puts the freshman out of Coral Gables High on a pace to drive in 83 runs this year, which would break Ryan Braun’s record (76) for most runs driven in by a freshman.
“I don’t look at other people,” Alonso said. “I only look at myself. I want to have my own name. It is an honor though to be mentioned with the likes of Ryan Braun.”
Alonso also provided his own twist on the impact that the Florida series had on the team.
“After the Sunday game, we all looked in the mirror and bonded together a little better,” Alonso said. “There is something positive that comes out of every game.”
This weekend will mark the first game played under the new lights at Mark Light Field this season. Both Friday and Saturday’s games will start at 7 p.m. Sunday’s game will start at 4 p.m. Carlos Gutierrez, Manny Miguelez and Scott Maine will be the starters for this weekend’s action.
All the games this weekend can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM.
Denis Brown can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org