Ricky Orta Wants a Ring

Ricky Orta moved up to the number two spot in the rotation this weekend against #4 Georgia Tech. Orta takes a 5-1 record and 1.67 ERA into today's game, which starts at 1 pm.

When he goes back to his alma mater Florida Christian, Ricky Orta gets ragged on by former teammates who won the state championship last season.


Because, Orta, who was a member of the 2003 team that was so loaded and expected to win it all lost in the state semifinals.

However, Orta's got something else in store for them come June.

"Whenever I go to my school, the guys who won the title last year show me their rings," Orta said. "I love my school and I watched all over their games on the road to the title, but I plan on coming back with a National Championship ring to show them this year."

The way Orta's been pitching, there's little reason to doubt him.

Used out of the bullpen as a freshman, Orta struggled a bit getting used to the new position he was in. A starter in high school, Orta was uncomfortable coming out of the bullpen.

"The adjustment was real hard for me to be a reliever," Orta said. "It's different and something that took a while to get used to. You don't warm up. You just get called in. I got used to it little by little. I walked a lot of guys coming out of the pen."

But that's changed as Orta has jumped into the starting rotation and is pitching circles around his opponents.

"I think I've only walked like three or four guys as a starter," Orta said.

And it's shown with his record.

As a starter, Orta is 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA and is heading into the biggest game of his young college career when he takes the mound at 1 pm against Georgia Tech in a huge battle between two of the ACC's titans.

The Ramblin' Wreck, fresh of a 20-1 waxing at the hands of the ‘Canes will be looking to make up for their embarrassing performance.

But if they think they've got an easy go against the young Orta, they've got something else coming for them.

Orta has given up two earned runs in 24 innings pitched so far this season.

And one of those runs came on the first pitch he threw in his first start as a Hurricane. In Orta's first start in early March against Northeastern his first pitch was planted over the wall for a home run.

"Before the game pitching coach J.D. Arteaga told me to just throw pitches, the worst that could happen is they get a hit," Orta said. "I throw the first pitch and home run. I said wow. This is what starting is. After that I calmed down. I prayed a little on the mound and said God, hook it up. And since then, everything has been cool."

More than cool. Orta's been ice cold. He didn't give up another run until his start at Wake Forest last week.

And that's been it for the undefeated pitcher as a starter.

"Starting at Wake Forest was something. It was real cold there and hard to stay warm. I was wearing two sweaters and I had a blister on my finger that was bothering me," Orta said. "They had a great hitting team, but I just hit my spots and got them out."

As he continues to hit his spots, Orta solidifies himself as a starter that the ‘Canes desperately need if they are to bring home another College World Series Title.

"If I could start in Omaha, I would be so ready. I am already nervous to pitch there and we are not even there yet. But my mind is on Georgia Tech right now. It's a huge game and I am getting ready for that on. Hopefully, we'll make it to Omaha. I'm pretty sure we will."

Then Orta can go flash that ring at his friends at Florida Christian.

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