Baseball Hits the Road for Rivalry Series at No. 4 Florida
Feb. 22-24, 2019 | 6:30 p.m. | 6:30 p.m. | 1 p.m.
Alfred A. McKethan Stadium | Gainesville, Fla.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Riding a four-game winning streak, the University of Miami baseball team heads to Gainesville, Fla., for a three-game rivalry series against No. 4 Florida at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium.
All three games at Florida will be broadcast on SEC Network+ and all baseball games, home and away, can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM and WVUM.org.
Junior right-hander Evan McKendry (1-0, 3.00 ERA), who threw six shutout innings in a victory over the Gators in 2018, will open the series on Friday night opposite Florida junior RHP Tyler Dyson (0-0, 2.70 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Sophomore right-hander Chris McMahon (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will face off against fellow sophomore RHP Tommy Mace (1-0, 2.57 ERA) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday’s finale is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch and will feature Miami’s Brian Van Belle (1-0, 0.00 ERA) opposite Florida’s Jack Leftwich (1-0, 1.50 ERA).
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series against Florida, 129-121-1, and took the series finale in Coral Gables a year ago, 2-0.
Florida (3-2) opened its 2019 season at home with a sweep of Long Beach State and dropped both of its midweek games this week, falling Tuesday at USF (6-1) and at home to North Florida Wednesday (7-1).
Miami’s offense enters the rivalry series red hot, as the Canes scored 46 runs over their first four games in 2019.
The Hurricanes set a record for runs scored on opening night against a Division I opponent, beating Rutgers 19-3. Overall, the Canes scored 35 runs over 24 innings and did most of their damage in bunches, as Miami scored multiple runs in eight of 12 innings in which they pushed a runner across home plate.
Sophomore shortstop Freddy Zamora was outstanding on opening weekend, hitting .417 (5-12) with two doubles, a home run and four RBI, and fellow sophomore Alex Toral belted two home runs over three games. But it was a pair of freshmen who showed they could be big contributors to the Miami offense with their performances against Rutgers.
Second baseman Anthony Vilar led the Hurricanes with a .636 average (7-for-11) with eight runs scored, seven hits, a team-best four doubles and four RBI. Fellow freshman Adrian Del Castillo tied for the team lead with seven hits, ripped a pair of doubles and drove in a team-leading seven runs while scoring four times and hitting .467 (7-15) over the three-game set. He has hit safely in all four games this season and leads the team with nine RBI.
Miami posted its second double-digit scoring output of 2019, beating FAU 11-4 on Wednesday. Toral drove in three runs and hit two homers, recording his first multi-homer game of his career, while sophomore center fielder Tony Jenkins registered the first three-hit game of his career.
Miami added a recruiting class ranked eighth by D1Baseball and No. 10 nationwide by Baseball America to a group of 18 returning letterwinners from a 2018 team that finished 28-26 overall and 16-13 in ACC play.
Three members of Miami’s recruiting class were selected in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft;Del Castillo (36th round, White Sox), Vilar (37th round, Cubs) and Cecconi (38th round, Orioles) all spurned professional overtures for a career at Miami after being selected in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Cecconi (#2), Del Castillo (#8) and Vilar (#48) were among the Top 50 Impact Freshmen in the ACC according to D1Baseball. Freshman LHP/UT JP Gates was ranked 10th among ACC freshmen. Baseball America rated Cecconi (No. 12), Gates (No. 16) and Del Castillo (No. 31) among the top 50 freshmen nationally.
The Hurricanes’ home schedule includes series with Georgia Tech (March 8-10), NC State (March 22-24), Florida State (April 5-7), Virginia Tech (April 26-28) and Duke (May 16-18), among others.
Miami’s road schedule also includes trips to North Carolina (March 15-17), Pittsburgh (March 29-31), Virginia (April 12-14), Louisville (April 18-20) and Wake Forest (May 10-12).