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Opponent Preview: Miami

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Meet the Hurricanes... an incredibly talented team

Kent State at Miami David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Miami

Mascot: Devastators of Coastal Towns | School Location: Miami, FL | Conference: ACC

2021 Record: 3-3 (1-2, T-5th Coastal) | 2020 RPI Rank: 5

2020 Record: 12-4 (3-0, 1st Coastal) | 2019 RPI Rank: 7

2019 Record: 41-20 (18-12, 2nd Coastal) | 2018 RPI Rank: 15


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Friday, Mar 5 @ 3:00pm | Saturday, Mar 6 @ 2:00pm | Sunday, Mar 7 @ 1:00pm

TV: ACCNX (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)

Radio: TuneIn App, GoPack (Friday | Saturday | Sunday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

When Jim Morris retired following the 2018 season, there was a question about where the program would head from there. Under Morris, Miami finished in the Top 25 (including seven Top 5 finishes) in RPI every season except for his last two, when the team slipped to 43rd and 65th, respectively. It was an undeserving end to an incredible coaching career.

Long-time Morris assistant and Miami alum Gino DiMare took the helm and the early returns are great for Hurricanes fans. The play on the field immediately improved back to previous levels and the recruiting continued to be excellent, including this year’s freshman class that ranks #1 nationally.

As for the 2021 version of the Hurricanes, has yet to play a midweek game and has squared off against two Top 25 opponents in Florida (#6) and Virginia Tech (#24). The Canes took two of three on the road against the Gators, but dropped their season-opening series against the Hokies at home. The hitting hasn’t been quite up to expectations (.239/.365/.300 as a team), with a noticeable lack in power, but that can be excused by the pitching the Canes have faced thus far.

On the mound, the peripherals (17 BB, 58 K in 57.0 IP) say that the pitching will find greater success as the season progresses than what they’ve seen thus far if they can avoid giving up the XBHs (10 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR). Outside of a select few, the bullpen has been disappointing, but the talent is there and potential depth should develop.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Friday: RHP Daniel Federman (JR)

Saturday: RHP Alejandro Rosario (FR)

Sunday: RHP Victor Mederos (FR)


Key Players:

Offense

3B/SS Yohandy Morales (FR) - .370/.414/.593, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K. One of the top freshman for Miami. Super talented player with future 1st round potential.

C Adrian Del Castillo (SO) - .320/.433/.400, 2 2B, 5 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K. 2021 Preseason 1st Team All-American. One of the top college prospects for this year’s draft as a left-handed hitting catcher with superior power, although he is a bat-first catcher.

OF Christian Del Castillo (rJR) - .333/.448/.375, 1 2B, 2 R, 8 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K. Seton Hall transfer and older brother of Adrian. Was a late bloomer and still took a couple years at Seton Hall before things clicked. Not the prospect that his brother is, but a solid player.

1B Alex Toral (JR) - .214/.478/.214, 2 R, 1 RBI, 8 BB, 4 K. 2021 Preseason 3rd Team All-American. As you can see, even when the hits aren’t falling, he’s still an advanced hitter who will work his way on base.

Pitching

RHP Daniel Federman (JR) - 0-2, 7.84 ERA, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 1 BB, 14 K. Former reliever and 2018 Freshman All-American. Moving to the rotation in hopes of a Nick Swiney type transition. He’s better than that ERA.

RHP Alejandro Rosario (FR) - 1-0, 1.64 ERA, 11.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 11 K. Former Team USA 18U team member. Tossed 7.0 innings of 3-hit, shutout ball versus VT last weekend. Is a fireballer despite a frame that wouldn’t lead you to believe that. His hearter will top out in the upper 90’s.

RHP Victor Mederos (FR) - 0-0, 4.35 ERA, 10.1 IP, 13 H, 1 BB, 10 K. One of the top draft eligible non-upperclassmen players in college baseball. Mid-90’s fastball that would probably top out higher via the bullpen, but has the stuff to be a stud starter.

LHP Carson Palmquist (FR) - 0-0, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K. Preseason 2021 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List member. The sidearm closer is super effective as his arm slot helps his low-90’s fastball play up velo-wise while the movement on his pitches makes it even harder to make solid contact.

RHP Jake Garland (FR) - 0-0, 4.05 ERA, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K. 2nd year freshman with a huge frame (6’5, 230). Makes up for a lack of pure stuff with solid control of a four pitch mix.

RHP Ben Wanger (GR) - 1-1, 4.15 ERA, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K. Graduate transfer from USC (and Yale before that). He’s a former 1st Team All-Ivy League player and was the Trojan’s closer last year.

LHP JP Gates (SO) - 0-0, 81.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 0 K. Former super highly regarded recruit who was exceptional last year (1-0, 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 13 K). He’s off to a very rough start this year, but he’ll come back around.


Quick! Fun Facts!

The Hurricanes lead the all-time series with the Wolfpack, 35-19.

As you’d expect, Miami’s roster consists of very few players from outside of the state of Florida (just seven players), but one of those is from the Triangle: SO RHP Jake Smith (Chapel Hell).


Prediction

This is an incredibly talented Miami squad that’s already faced some very stiff competition this early in the season. This is going to be a very very tough series for State to win

Outcome: Miami takes two of three.