No. 21 Canes Host Bethune-Cookman In Final Non-Conference Series
May 3-5, 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. – The Miami Hurricanes will welcome in-state foe Bethune-Cookman to Coral Gables for the Canes’ final non-conference series of 2019.
The No. 21 Hurricanes (31-14) welcome the Wildcats to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field for a three-game set. Friday and Saturday’s games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s finale is set for 1 p.m.
In honor of the 75th season of Miami Baseball, Miami athletics asked fans to vote for who they thought are some of the greatest Hurricanes to ever wear the orange and green.A commemorative poster featuring the all-time team will be given to the first 300 fans in attendance at Saturday’s game.
All Miami home games this season will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra. All baseball games, home and away, can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM and WVUM.org. 790 The Ticket will broadcast Saturday’s game.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series against Bethune-Cookman, 37-6, and have won four straight meetings and nine of the last 10 between the teams. Right-hander Brian Van Belle (5-2, 3.83 ERA) will face Bethune-Cookman ace right-hander Anthony Maldonado (2-4, 3.61 ERA) in Friday’s series opener. Freshman RHP Slade Cecconi (5-3, 4.36 ERA) will oppose BCU RHP Brady Norris(2-0, 2.84 ERA) on Saturday, while Miami is set to throw RHP Tyler Keysor (5-0, 4.28 ERA) against RHP Isaak Gutierrez on Sunday.
The Canes debuted at No. 23 in the Baseball America Top 25, marking the fifth different major publication to rank Miami in 2019. The Canes climbed three spots to No. 21 in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the D1Baseball Top 25. Miami also moved up two spots to No. 24 in Collegiate Baseball’s NCAA Div. I Baseball Poll and two spots in the NCBWA Division I Poll to No. 20. The Canes are ranked in all five major polls for the first time since the final poll of the 2016 season.
After a game-winning homer in Sunday’s finale vs. Virginia Tech, the Canes have hit 56 home runs over 45 games in 2019.UM, which is fifth in the ACC with 56 homers, matched its 2018 season total of 23 home runs after just 15 games in 2019. Miami ranks 18th nationally in home runs as a team.
First baseman Alex Toral is tied for the ACC lead with a team-best 17 home runs, while third baseman Raymond Gil is second on the team with nine homers. Ten different Hurricanes have hit at least one home run in 2019.
Toral’s 17 home runs are tied for sixth by a single player in Division I this season. He had a huge weekend at then-No. 8 Louisville, hitting a home run in each of the three games against the Cardinals. Over the last 10 games, Toral is 9-for-32 (.281) with a double, three home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored.
Freshman Adrian Del Castillo opened his career with a 15-game hit streak and has reached base in 41 of 45 games in 2019. Del Castillo has been entrenched in the middle of Miami’s lineup, batting third six times and cleanup 39 times.
Del Castillo’s 58 hits, 55 RBI and 17 doubles lead the Hurricanes. He has a team-high 17 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI outings. His 13 multi-RBI games are the most by a Hurricane freshman since Zack Collins posted 15 in 2014. A versatile player, Del Castillo has started double-digit games at catcher (11), right field (17) and designated hitter (16) and made one start at third base.
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 a midweek game vs. UCF on Wednesday and series with Duke (May 16-18). Miami’s final road trip is scheduled for May 10-13 at Wake Forest.