Alonso Continues Strong Freshman Season

First baseman Yonder Alonso is leading the team with 59 runs batted in, which ranks in the top five amongst NCAA freshman. Alonso and the Canes begin a 3-game home series tomorrow night against Wake Forest at 8:00 p.m.

Last weekend the Hurricanes swept Wright State by a combined score of 33-4.

"It was a great weekend for us to win at home," Yonder Alonso said. "It was great for us winning those three games against good quality pitching and it was great that everyone contributed to the games and everyone did well. That is always important to get your confidence up now that we are going to face Wake Forest this weekend and hopefully we'll come out with a good sweep there as well."

Not only did the Canes bat .390 as a team over the weekend, but the team ERA was 1.00.

"It is always good when you have both sides go well for you especially the pitching," said Alonso, as the Canes recorded their biggest margin of victory in a sweep this season. "The offense has been there all season long, but when you see the pitching going all as they did this past weekend, it is great to see."

Alonso hit .444 in the series with two home runs and six runs batted in.

"Basically I was just trying to stay back and see how they would pitch me at-bat through at-bat," Alonso said. "I tried not to do too much because I think I have been trying to do that lately. When I was in a slump at FSU, I was just trying to do way too much to help the team."

In addition to hitting eight home runs this season, which ties Eddy Rodriguez for the team lead, Alonso leads the team with 16 doubles.

"Basically I am not a home-run hitter, it just happens," said Alonso, who hit 20 home runs in his 4-year career at Coral Gables High School. "I don't try to look for home runs. I just try to hit the ball well to left-center and right-center--those are my gaps."

During his freshman season, Alonso has started all 48 games for the Hurricanes at first base. His numbers have been great, but he feels they could be better.

"It has been great," Alonso said. "I have been loving every day and every second of it. It has been more than I expected. I have been doing pretty well, but I have goals that I could be doing better. I think I have hit with a little bit of hitter's luck, but that is all right as long as we are winning. I have been loving this whole year, it is great, and it has been the best thing ever. Hopefully we will go to Omaha, which would be even better."

This weekend Alonso and the Canes face Wake Forest (32-15, 15-8) who also have an outstanding freshman first baseman, Allan Dykstra.

Dykstra, like Alonso, has started every game this season and leads his team in RBI's with 54. He also has hit 14 home runs with a .344 batting average. The biggest difference between the two players is the on-base percent. Dykstra has an astounding on-base percent of .502 compared to Alonso's .396 mark.

The matchup between the two hitters figures to be a battle for years to come in the ACC.

"I don't know too much about him other than I know he is doing pretty well and hitting the ball hard," Alonso said.

Although they are both hitters, one can't look at the freshman matchup considering both are strong candidates to be the ACC Rookie of the Year.

"It is always nice when you can out-perform somebody, but it is really not my thing," Alonso said. "I just want to win games and not worry about other people. If I go 0-for-4 and he goes 4-for-4, but we win then I don't care."

Miami will send LHP Scott Maine (8-2, 4.82 ERA) to the mound to face Wake Forest RHP Brad Kledzik (5-2, 3.53 ERA) in the series opener as both teams try to position themselves favorably for the ACC Tournament, which begins May 24.

"This is a must-win situation for us," Alonso said. "We just have to play our game and not worry about them."

Christopher Stock can be reached at

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