Baseball Opens Nine-Game Homestand with UMBC
March 1-3, 2019 | 7 p.m. | 7 p.m. | 1 p.m.
Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field | Coral Gables, Fla. | Buy Tickets | Directions
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Fresh off a midweek win at crosstown FIU, the University of Miami baseball program will return to Mark Light Field to kick off a nine-game homestand with a three-game series against UMBC this weekend.
All home games this season will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. Friday and Sunday’s games will be broadcast live on 790 The Ticket, while all baseball games, home and away, can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM and WVUM.org.
Junior right-hander Evan McKendry (2-0, 2.77 ERA), will go for his third straight win, opposing UMBC RHP Frank Fraschetti in a game set for 7 p.m. Friday. In his last start, McKendry held then-No. 4 Florida to two runs on four hits over 7.0 innings while striking out nine to earn his second win.
Sophomore right-hander Chris McMahon (1-0, 2.31 ERA) will face off against fellow sophomore RHP Aaron Husson (0-1, 9.00 ERA) beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. Sunday’s finale is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch and will feature Miami’s Brian Van Belle (1-1, 1.50 ERA) opposite UMBC sophomore RHP Nick Trabacchi (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series, 2-0. Miami last played the Retrievers in a midweek matchup in 2009, winning 11-1 on March 18 in Coral Gables, Fla.
UMBC (2-1) opened its 2019 season taking two of three games from UNC Asheville in a series played in Marion, N.C., from Feb. 22-24.
Miami’s heads into the weekend coming off a 10-run performance at FIU on Wednesday. The Hurricanes have one of the most potent offenses in the ACC, entering the weekend with an ACC-best .316 team batting average, while Miami’s 89 hits are the most in the ACC. The Canes rank second in the ACC in doubles (17), third in slugging (.504), on-base percentage (.414) and RBI (57).
Sophomore first baseman Alex Toral leads the ACC with a team-best six home runs. The powerful lefty hit the first half of back-to-back homers against FIU on Wednesday night, depositing a ball well beyond the right field fence before fellow sophomore Raymond Gil crushed the very next pitch over the scoreboard and onto the soccer field beyond the left field fence at FIU Baseball Stadium.
Gil has been one of Miami’s hottest hitters lately, batting .500 (10-for-20) with a double, two homers, three runs scored and four RBI over the last five games.
Along with Toral and Gil, catcher Michael Amditis has heated up at the plate. The redshirt sophomore, 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 last weekend at No. 4 Florida. The homer was his first as a Hurricane. Amditis is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with a homer over the last five games.
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 (36thround, White Sox), Vilar (37thround, Cubs) and Cecconi (38thround, 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).