GATOR BASEBALL: Will Miami Pitch to Harrison?

When Florida and Miami met earlier this season the ‘Canes walked Ben Harrison 6 of the 13 times he stepped up to the plate. Harrison's Oklahoma City regional numbers were .666. Will they pitch to the Key West senior swinging the wicked bat?

The Gators took game one against Miami last February with Justin Hoyman and Darren O'Day shutting out the Hurricanes 3-0. The Miami pitching staff walked allowed five walks, none to Harrison. The 6'3 220 outfielder didn't exactly ring up tremendous numbers (1-5) in that game, but Miami Coach Jim Morris knows plenty about him courtesy of three previous years of Florida/Miami battles.

The ‘Canes took the following two games from Florida, and in each of those contests, Harrison was walked three of the four times that he took his turn at the plate. Harrison was the only Florida player walked in the second game, and he was walked three times. Coincidence? Hardly.

Morris will instruct his staff to keep the ball out of Harrison's zone this weekend, as well. But, just how big is that zone? Harrison must be looking at the pitch like a beach ball floating toward the plate. The senior is smoking everything in sight. Named the Most Outstanding Performer of the Oklahoma City Regional, Big Ben connected on 8 of 12 for eight RBI's and a home run in the minor league ballpark.

Since the start of the Vanderbilt series on April 23rd, Harrison has hit for a .431 average with 33 RBI's, 7 home runs, 6 doubles, 22 runs scored, and 14 base on balls. He currently is hitting .357 and on an 11 game hitting streak.

Miami's strategy should allow C.J. Smith and Jeff Corsoletti to look for something they can drive. Both players were named to the Oklahoma City All-Regional Team. Smith hit 3 of 9 (.333) for five runs scored, four walks , and one RBI. Corsoletti punched 5 of 13 (.385) while driving in nine runs, with a home run, triple, and double. If Corsoletti and Smith are indeed heating up as well, Coral Gables could be a very exciting trip for Florida.


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