Miami will send sophomore RHP Carlos Gutierrez (3-0, 1.15 ERA) to the mound to face Florida RHP Bryan Ball (1-0, 0.00 ERA) in the series opener.
Miami head coach Jim Morris knows his team is the underdog and when Morris asked if he liked it, he responded,
"I would rather be the team that is favored because that means you got all of the best players and have veterans," added Morris.
This is the first time since Morris has been at Miami that Florida has came to Coral Gables and his squad has been the underdogs. Morris and the 'Canes understand the challenge and look forward to the series.
"We have been playing well lately and it will be interesting to see how we do. It is a very big challenge for us, but that is what you want when you are trying to move up. We are excited and we always like playing Florida," Morris said.
There are four freshmen in the Miami lineup that have already made an impact to the team. LF Blake Tekotte and 2B Jemile Weeks are at the top of the order with 1B Yonder Alonso and DH Dennis Raben also in the lineup.
"They have done a really good job for us and we expect to start all four of them against Florida," Morris said.
Junior RF Tommy Giles leads the team with three homeruns.
"If you look at him you wouldn't expect to be able to hit with power, but he can," Morris said.
3B Danny Valencia leads the team with a .400 batting average while Alonso leads the team in runs batted in with 15.
Tomorrow's game is at 1:00 p.m. and will be shown on Sun Sports with LHP Manny Miguelez on the mound for Miami.
LHP Scott Maine is expected to start the series finale on Sunday and make his 2006 season debut. With Maine in the rotation, RHP Danny Gil moves back to the bullpen to be used in long relief after two starts.
The team has played day games this season because of the lack of lights due to stadium renovations.
Lights were delivered yesterday and were approved.
They are expected to be ready Thursday night for practice and for the game on Friday, February 24 against Bethune-Cookman which is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami vs #2 Florida, Today at 2:00 p.m.
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