Baseball Ready for Crosstown Showdown at FIU
Feb. 27, 2018 | 7 p.m.
FIU Baseball Stadium | Miami, Fla.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami will close out a four-game road trip Wednesday with a game at crosstown FIU. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on WVUM 90.5 FM and ESPN+.
Freshman right-hander Slade Cecconi (1-0) will oppose FIU freshman right-hander Franco Aleman (0-0).
The Hurricanes (5-2) head into the midweek matchup after taking one game in a highly competitive three-game series at No. 4 Florida over the weekend.
Miami won the series opener, 5-2, on Friday, thanks to a strong start from junior Evan McKendry and big home runs by Alex Toral and Michael Amditis.
The Canes dropped the next two games in Gainesville, Fla., falling 9-3 on Saturday night after leading 3-1 through 6.2 innings and 4-1 in Sunday’s series finale.
Amditis and fellow sophomore Raymond Gil each had five-plus hits against No. 4 Florida over the weekend. The redshirt sophomore Amditis, who was 1-for-10 over Miami’s first four games of the season, went 5-for-10 with two runs scored and a game-winning home run on Friday night. The homer was the catcher’s first as a Hurricane.
Gil led the Hurricanes with six hits and three RBI during the Florida series. The third baseman was 6-for-13 with a double and a three-run homer against the Gators.
Freshman Adrian Del Castillo also had a strong series at No. 4 Florida, proving that he is one of the top hitters in the country. The Miami native has served as the Canes’ designated hitter in every game this season and has hit safely in all seven games.
Del Castillo enters the week batting .375 with four doubles, one home run and 10 RBI. He leads the Canes in hits (12), doubles (4) and RBI (10). The freshman’s first career homer cleared the scoreboard beyond the right field fence at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Sunday.
After a four-homer weekend at Florida, the Canes have hit nine home runs over seven games in 2019. Miami, which ranks third in the ACC with nine homers, did not hit its ninth home run of the 2018 season until April 1. Toral leads the ACC and ranks fourth nationally with a team-leading five home runs.
The Hurricanes are tied with Florida State with an ACC-best .316 team batting average, while Miami’s 78 hits are the most in the ACC. Miami ranks second in the ACC in doubles (16), total bases (123) and slugging (.498), while the Canes are fourth with 48 RBI.
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), Anthony 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 also 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 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).