No. 19 Canes Ready For Midweek Finale vs. UCF
May 8, 2019 | 7 p.m.
Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field | Coral Gables, Fla. | Buy Tickets | Directions
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami will close out an eight-game homestand with its final midweek game of the year, welcoming UCF to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Gino DiMare’s No. 19 Hurricanes (34-14) will face off against a former two-time national champion Cane, as former 1999 and 2001 national champion Greg Lovelady is in his third season leading the baseball program at UCF (29-19). The Hurricanes lead the all-time series vs. UCF, 22-7, and won six of the last 10 meetings against the Knights.
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. Wednesday’s game will also be broadcasted on 790 The Ticket.
Freshman Adrian Del Castillo has reached in 43 of 48 games and began his career with a 15-game hitting streak. Del Castillo’s 15 multi-RBI games are tied for the most by a Hurricane freshman since Zack Collins posted 15 in 2014. His 59 RBI are the most by any Hurricane since Zack Collins had 59 in 2016 and the most by a UM freshman since Yonder Alonso’s 69 in 2006.
Del Castillo is tenth in the ACC with a .346 batting average and ranks second in the conference with 19 doubles, but he is not the only freshman making noise for Miami. Del Castillo ranks in the top 10 in the ACC in batting average (10th), hits (9th), doubles (2nd) and RBI (3rd), while Jordan Lala is tied for third in runs scored and second in stolen bases.
Four freshmen have started at least 25 games for Miami, with Del Castillo (48), Anthony Vilar (48) and Lala(47) all making over 40 starts and JP Gates starting 25 games. As a group, the four freshmen are batting .318 and combining for 199 hits, 157 runs, 45 doubles, 3 triples, 15 homers and 132 RBI.
Gates came into the season as a late-inning option in the Miami bullpen, but emerged as a big-time bat for the Canes. He had a memorable debut as a hitter, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI vs. UMBC on March 3, and crushed a pinch-hit two-run homer vs. NC State on March 23. He’s been Miami’s regular DH ever since.
Last weekend against Bethune-Cookman, Gates hit .615 (8-for-13) with a triple, a homer, seven RBI and three runs scored. On May 5, Gates had three hits and a career-best four RB vs. Bethune-Cookman, finishing a double shy of the cycle. He also threw a scoreless inning of relief to become the first Hurricane to homer and throw a scoreless inning in the same game since Dennis Raben in 2007.
After a three-homer weekend vs. Bethune-Cookman, the Canes have hit 59 home runs over 49 games in 2019. UM, which is tied for fourth in the ACC with 56 homers, matched its 2018 season total of 23 home runs after just 15 games in 2019. First baseman Alex Toral is second in the ACC 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.
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 Slade 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. 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’ final road trip is scheduled for May 10-13 at Wake Forest and Miami will close out the regular season with a home series against Duke (May 16-18).