Miami baseball opens season with three-game series versus Rutgers

The Miami baseball team opens the 2020 season ranked in the top five with a three-game series in Coral Gables against Rutgers. The Hurricanes are on a mission to advance to the College World Series for the first time since 2016.

The Miami baseball team begins a quest to win their first ACC Coastal Division title and qualify for their first trip to the College World Series in Omaha since 2016 when the Hurricanes host Rutgers to begin the 2020 season. The 2020 season is the sixth in a row that Miami and Rutgers will open the season in Coral Gables.

Miami will embark on their second season under Gino DiMare. The longtime assistant coach under two-time National Champion Jim Morris and a former Hurricanes player, DiMare led Miami to a 41-20 record in his first season in 2019. The Hurricanes finished as the runner-up in the Starkville Regional to host Mississippi State.

Miami enters the 2020 college baseball season with a consensus top-five ranking. The Hurricanes will be led by a powerful offense and an elite weekend pitching rotation. Catcher Adrian Del Castillo and first basemen Alex Toral along with pitchers Brian Van Belle and Slade Cecconi have received All-America mentions.

Del Castillo hit .331 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs in 2019. First baseman Alex Toral finished third in the nation and is tied for the lead among the returnees nationally for the 2020 season with 24 home runs in 2019. Third baseman Raymond Gil also provides pop in the Miami batting order. Gil hit .318, 13, 44 in 2019.

The Miami baseball program received tough news on Thursday when it was announced that shortstop Freddy Zamora is out for the season with a knee injury. Projected second basemen Anthony Vilar who started 11 games at shortstop last season is the preliminary favorite to replace Zamora.

Van Belle and DelCastillo are on the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award that honors the best player in college baseball. Van Belle gets the opening night start for the Hurricanes on Friday. Del Castillo returns to his natural position after playing right field, designated hitter, catcher and first base in 2019.

Series and Broadcast Information:

GAMES 1-3 CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field)
3 MIAMI HURRICANES (0-0, 0-0 ACC)
Head Coach: Gino DiMare (Miami, 1992)
Career Division I Record: 41-20 (second season) | Record at Miami: 41-20 (second season)
RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (0-0, 0-0 B1G)
Head Coach: Steve Owens (St. Lawrence, 1987)
Career Division I Record: 669-201-2 (21st season) | Record at Rutgers: 0-0 (first season)

SERIES INFORMATION
Dates: Friday, February 14, 2020 – Sunday, February 16, 2020
Game Times (ET): 7:00 p.m. | 7:00 p.m. | 1:00 p.m.
Site: Coral Gables, Fla. | Mark Light Field (3,771)
TV: ACC Network Extra (all home games)
Flagship Radio: 790 The Ticket (Friday, Sunday)
Spanish Radio: 990 AM Unanimo Deportes (Sunday)
Student Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM | WVUM.org (all games)
Series History: Miami leads, 66-14,Coral Gables: Miami leads, 66-14
First Meeting: March 18, 1967 – Miami won, 3-2
Last Meeting: February 17, 2019 – Miami won, 9-3
Streak: Miami, three wins

Courtesy HurricaneSports.Com

The trio of Van Belle, Chris McMahon and Cecconi provide Miami with one of the deepest weekend rotations in the country. After Van Belle, the Hurricanes will start McMahon and Cecconi this weekend. Rutgers has its own quality and experienced rotation starting against Miami this weekend.

Pitching rotations:

#3 MIAMI 0-0, 0-0 ACC
Friday: R-SR RHP Brian Van Belle (10-2, 3.30 ERA) [2019]
Saturday: JR RHP Chris McMahon (3-2, 3.73 ERA) [2019]
Sunday: SO RHP Slade Cecconi (5-4, 4.16 ERA) [2019]
RUTGERS 0-0, 0-0 B1G
2019: 20-31, 9-14 B1G (10th place, B1G)
Friday: JR LHP Harry Rutkowski (2-6, 4.08 ERA) [’19]
Saturday: R-SR RHP Tommy Genuario (3-5, 3.14 ERA) [’19]
Sunday: SR LHP Tevin Murray (4-5, 3.01 ERA) [’19]

Next: Miami baseball begins 2020 season ranked in top five

The series against Rutgers begins an 11-game homestand for the Miami baseball team to begin the 2020 season. The Hurricanes host Kent State on Wednesday before a huge three-game series against fourth-ranked Florida next weekend. Miami begins ACC play by hosting Pittsburgh March 6-8.

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