Touchet Excited for 2005 Season

Pitcher Dan Touchet returns for his final season as a Hurricane and after battling through arm injuries, he's feeling great heading into the 2005 season which begins February 1.

Last year Dan Touchet went 5-1 with a 4.81 ERA in 48 innings and he made seven starts. He has a 14-3 career record.

Yesterday was the first day of practice prior to the season and he was excited.

"This is pretty exciting," Touchet said. "I didn't get much sleep last night. I woke up at about 6:45 in the morning. I tried to be one of the first guys to get here at practice. I am ready to get things started. I haven't been out here in a while. It feels good to be back."

The Hurricanes pitching staff will be led by All-American Cesar Carrillo, who went 12-0 last year. Also back on the staff is Vince Bongiovanni, Brandon Camardese, and Danny Gil.

"I think pitching will be a strength of ours this season," Touchet said. "We have a lot of older guys back that will lead which is what we need. Hopefully pitching will be able to carry us a little bit this year."

Touchet returned to the field last year after having Tommy John surgery in 2003. His arm felt fine last year, but it was not in shape for the season. Now he feels better.

"It has never felt better, so far," Touchet said. "The rehab has gone well and I'm throwing well. I'm just excited to be back out there finally."

The 2004 season started off well for Touchet, but had troubles late in the season.

"My arm felt good at the beginning of the season," Touchet said. "Then towards the second half of the season it got real frustrating because I wasn't able to throw the ball where I wanted to. They said it was mostly because my arm was not in shape--it did not hurt or anything. The ball was just running on me and not cutting the way I wanted it to."

Touchet is hopeful he can return to his early 2003 success.

"It is getting better every day," Touchet said. "I am probably getting closer to being back where I used to be, but I am hoping that I can be a little bit better."

He was a freshman on the 2001 championship team and is the only member of that team still remaining on the roster.

"My time here has actually gone by relatively quick," Touchet said. "I love Miami and everything about it. I love the coaching staff. It wasn't a big decision for me to come back this year (instead of leaving to play pro ball). I enjoy playing here and it is one of the elite programs in the country. To play here is an honor."

Although the team made it Omaha the last two years, they have bigger goals this year.

"Now that our guys have been to Omaha it is not just about getting to Omaha, it is about winning while we are there," Touchet said. "I think that is a common goal amongst the team."

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