No. 17 Canes Host Duke in Regular Season Finale
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes will close out the first regular season under the direction of head coach Gino DiMare this weekend with a three-game series vs. Duke.
The No. 17 Hurricanes (36-16, 16-11 ACC) will play their final ACC series of 2019 this week, facing the Blue Devils (29-22, 14-13 ACC) in the last weekend of action before the conference tournament.
All three games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra, with Thursday and Friday’s games scheduled for 7 p.m. and Saturday’s finale set for 1 p.m. All baseball games, home and away, can be heard on WVUM 90.5 FM and WVUM.org. All three games will also be broadcast on 790 The Ticket and Saturday’s season finale will be carried in Spanish on 990 AM ESPN Deportes.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series against Duke, 36-10, and hold a 21-7 advantage in games played in Coral Gables. Right-hander Brian Van Belle (8-2, 3.20 ERA) will face Duke right-hander Ben Gross (6-4, 4.08 ERA) in Thursday’s series opener. Miami ace RHP Evan McKendry (6-1, 4.53 ERA) will make his first start since April 19 this Friday, opposing Duke LHP Bill Chillari (2-3, 5.09 ERA). Miami sophomore RHP Chris McMahon (2-2, 4.06 ERA) will take the mound Saturday against sophomore RHP Bryce Jarvis (4-0, 4.53 ERA).
The Canes jumped up four spots to No. 18 in the Baseball America Top 25 and climbed two spots to No. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Canes moved up two positions in the D1Baseball Top 25 to No. 18. Miami made its biggest move up the polls in Collegiate Baseball’s NCAA Div. I Baseball Poll, jumping up 10 spots to No. 12. The Hurricanes also rose two positions in the NCBWA Division I Poll, landing at No. 15.
After a six-homer weekend at Wake Forest, the Canes have hit 69 home runs over 52 games in 2019. UM, which is third in the ACC with 69 homers, matched its 2018 season total of 23 home runs after just 15 games in 2019. Miami’s 69 homers are more than the combined team home runs from the previous two seasons (58) and triple the 2018 total (23).
First baseman Alex Toral is second in the ACC with a team-best 19 home runs, while third baseman Raymond Gil is second on the team with 10 homers. Twelve different Hurricanes have hit at least one home run in 2019.
Freshman Adrian Del Castillo opened his career with a 15-game hit streak and has reached base in 47 of 52 games in 2019. Del Castillo has been entrenched in the middle of Miami’s lineup, batting third 13 times and cleanup 39 times.
Del Castillo’s 67 hits, 61 RBI and 19 doubles lead the Hurricanes.He has a team-high 19 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI outings.His 61 RBI are the most by any Hurricane since Zack Collins had 59 in 2016 and are the most by a UM freshman since Yonder Alonso’s 69 in 2006. Del Castillo’s 15 multi-RBI games are tied for 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 (12), right field (22) and designated hitter (16) and made two starts 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 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. 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.