Figueroa Ready for 2B

With the University of Miami's baseball season beginning on February 1, the team is sharpening their skills. In his last season at the University of Miami, senior Paco Figueroa is ready for the season to begin.

"It is getting very exciting," said Figueroa. "As each day comes, the season is getting closer. We are anxious and there are a couple little things, we have to come together as a team, but we look good. We have good hitting and good pitching, we are just anxious to get started."

This year Paco will return to the middle infield, second base, after filling in at centerfield last season after his twin Danny suffered a season-ending injury. Paco played shortstop his first two seasons at UM.

"I have played the infield my whole life, so it was not that big of an adjustment. I played second a lot in high school."

Last season, Paco batted .373 and stole 18 bases. After missing 22 games last season with a with a torn flexor tendon in his left index finger, Paco hopes his injuries are behind him.

Like many college baseball players, Paco played in the Cape Cod League this past summer saying, "I like going there and facing the pitchers there."

Paco is ready to see how the return of Danny will help the team this season. Before Danny suffered from elbow and shoulder surgeries, he was considered one of the best centerfielders to play at UM. In his sophomore season, Danny hit .325 and led the team in runs with 74.

"I am excited to see my brother back," Paco said. "I am going to see how he steps it up. He is going to make a big impact out on centerfield. We have a lot of good players coming back, and I am excited to see the overall team performance."

As usual, Miami will expect some of the freshmen to contribute to the team this season. Paco likes the way the pitchers are shaping up.

"We have a lot of pitching that is good freshmen-wise," said Figueroa "You can never have too much pitching and now that we are in the ACC it is going to be interesting."

With the move to the ACC, this season will be the first that Miami will play in a conference. Miami was previously an independent a luxury that allowed the ‘Canes to schedule more home games.

Whether or not the Hurricanes play on the road or at home, their focus for the ultimate goal will not change—Omaha.

"I think if you look at the ACC and the teams that are in it, it is one of the best conferences in the nation. It is our first year in a conference, and it has a different look to it. Our main goal is winning Omaha, and that is what Miami has always been about. It will give us more of a challenge. Going on the road and trying to win, and also facing the weather."

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