CWS: Gil Ready for Rice

OMAHA, Neb. -- Miami (42-22) hopes to continue their hot streak tomorrow as they will face Rice (56-11) at 7:00 p.m. Both teams won their opening game setting up a matchup of premier programs. Rice has been ranked first in the polls for the last two months of the season and are 38-3 in their last 41 games.

Junior RHP Danny Gil (4-2, 2.80) will make his fifth start of the season for the Hurricanes against a potent Rice lineup that has eight guys batting over .300.

Gil has been primarily a reliever in his three-year career at Miami has thrived in the starter's role this season.

As a starter he has a 1.34 ERA in 20 1/3 innings with 15 strikeouts and 9 walks.

In his two starts during the NCAA Tournament he has not allowed an earned run in 11 2/3 innings.

"I think finally everything is coming together for me," Gil said. "I have more time between pitching compared to being a reliever."

Gil attributes his success to the effectiveness of his fastball lately. He has been getting it over for strikes more often and it has had more movement now than in the past.

Miami will need a strong performance from Gil, who will face a Rice team that is 48-2 when they out-hit their opponents.

Rice is especially effective when they score in the first inning posting a 25-0 record when they get at least one run in the first.

Of their 11 losses in the season they have scored five runs or less in 10 of those games.

"I know Rice is a good team and have been ranked number one for a while now, but I'm going to try not to think about who they are or where I'm pitching too much," Gil said. "I'm just going to take it like I did the two starts before. It is a regular start and the same game. I'm just going to take it one pitch at a time."

As the team's closer as a freshman in 2004 at the College World Series, Gil admits he was nervous. That year he was a freshman All-American with a 3.03 ERA, an 8-0 record, and five saves.

"For some reason I was scared to death," said Gil, who pitched one inning against LSU and did not allow a hit. "I was so nervous every game. I was just worried about everything."

"Now I know what to expect and it's not that big of a deal."

Rice will start LHP Cole St. Clair (6-2, 1.95 ERA). St. Clair, a third-team All-American, faced two batters and threw five pitches in Friday afternoon's game. He has 94 strikeouts and 24 walks in 69 1/3 innings.


Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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