Roger Tomas is not the most imposing player on the field at only 5-foot-8 and 177 pounds, but heart is something that Miami shortstop Tomas has plenty of.
The graduate of Flanagan High School in Broward county battles not only opposing pitchers and plays solid defense, but he also battles Krone's Disease on a daily basis, but it doesn't get him down or keep him from being a great player on the field for the ‘Canes who are rolling right now at 33-10-1 and 17-5-1 in the ACC.
And he showed a lot of that heart as a freshman when he got the opportunity to play on an everyday basis at shortstop when Ryan Braun went down with a rib injury.
He made the most of that opportunity and hasn't let up since as Braun is now playing third base covering the hot corner since he returned to the line up because of Tomas' stellar glove.
He started the final 33 games of his freshman year at shortstop and hit .339 and was named to the 2004 College World Series All-Tournament team.
"Playing in Omaha was a lot of fun," Tomas said. "Not a lot of freshmen get to play in Omaha. They might get there, but I was playing. We didn't win, but we played hard. It motivates us to get back and take care of business."
That's something Tomas has continued to do in the field having only committed 14 errors in 208 opportunities for a .933 fielding percentage.
He's also been solid at the plate hitting .279 with one home run and 24 RBI. He's a very tough strike out too having only been K'ed 16 times in 178 plate appearances--a 11.1 to 1 ratio, good for second best on the team behind Danny Valencia.
But hitting is not something that Tomas worries about. It's his glove he takes pride in and his gloves he knows will always keep him on the field.
"I'm not trying to put up the big numbers from the plate like a slugger cause I'm not," Tomas said. "I just want to play good defense and take care of that. Doing what my team expects me to do is what I have to take care of."
Through all this, Tomas still does his thing on the field while battling Crohn's Disease, something that would render many people helpless because of the painful cramping it can cause.
"It's something I have to deal with for the rest of my life," Tomas said. "It still affects my life, the way I play and the way I do things. It's just something I have to deal with. I've grown used to playing with it, but it won't keep me off the field."
And that's the type of attitude that can push the ‘Canes overtop if they are to get back to Omaha for another crack at their fifth National Championship.
"I think it would be a major disappointment if we didn't win the championship this year," Tomas said. "If everyone does his part, I don't think anyone can beat us."
That is something Tomas knows starts with pitching and defense, his forte.
"Our offense has never been a question for us," Tomas said. "It's just a matter of good defense and our pitching."
Playing in the ACC surely will help the team according to Tomas when it comes to making a run to the CWS, especially winning 4-1-1 the past two weekends against North Carolina and Florida State.
"I think most importantly was that we beat their best starters," Tomas said. "They were two of the best in ERA in the nation and hit them pretty good. It gave us the confidence to know we can beat anyone anywhere. That's been helping us these last couple of weekends."
And with good defense as Tomas will surely provide at short, it will help the ‘Canes all the way to the title.
Righthander Ricky Orta (6-3, 4.91 ERA) takes the mound today at 1 pm looking for the series sweep of Maryland.
Tomas and Canes Look for Sweep
Canes Time Top Stories
Tuesday Q&A with Thomas BrownRead on to see everything offensive coordinator Thomas Brown was saying Tuesday morning as the Canes prepare to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes Time11:28 AM
Several Cane Offensive Players Talk GTRead on to see what several Hurricane offensive players are saying about this week's game against Georgia Tech.
Canes Time11:22 AM
Kaaya Talks Ga TechRead on to see what quarterback Brad Kaaya was saying on Tuesday afternoon as he prepares to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes Time11:18 AM
Tuesday Q&A with Mark RichtRead on to see everything head coach Mark Richt was saying on Tuesday morning as his team prepares to take on Georgia Tech Saturday.
Canes Time11:15 AM
Miami @ Georgia Tech: Game NotesMiami is set to take on Georgia Tech this coming Saturday for their ACC Opener. Read on for some game notes.
Canes TimeYesterday at 9:59 PM