Baseball: Coral Gables Regional Preview

The Hurricanes are set to take on Texas Tech in the Coral Gables Regional. Below is a preview.

Miami Hurricanes (41-17, ACC at-large)

Top Hitters:

Dale Carey- .313 BA, .402 OBP, 15 doubles, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 16 SB
Zack Collins- .300 BA, .421 OBP, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 9 HR, 49 RBI
Tyler Palmer- .294 BA, 14 doubles, 4 triples, 33 RBI, 18 SB
Willie Abreu- .291 BA, .386 OBP, 28 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Chris Diaz- 9-0, 2.31 ERA, 80 K, .239 BAA
Bryan Radziewski- 7-2, 3.14 ERA, 102 K, .237 BAA
Andrew Suarez- 5-3, 3.22 ERA, 77/15 K/BB, .258 BAA
Bryan Garcia- 30 apps., 48.1 IP, 1.86 ERA, 15 SV, 53 K, .230 BAA
Thomas Woodrey- 28 apps., 44 IP, 2.45 ERA, .209 BAA
Cooper Hammond- 32 apps., 32.1 IP, 2.51 IP, .237 BAA

Summary: You would be hard pressed to find a team hotter than the Miami Hurricanes over the course of the second half of the regular season. They lost just three games after March 24th.

During their torrid run through the ACC, it was pitching that was driving the bus for the Hurricanes. Diaz and Suarez gave them fantastic starts week after week on Fridays and Saturdays. And while he struggled with command a little bit early in conference play, Radziewski responded nicely and gave the Canes a third ace. If he locates well, he is the most dominating of the three starting pitchers.

The Miami offense hasn't been great this season, but it's full of pleasant surprises. Coming off a junior season where he hit under .200, Carey has had a fabulous senior campaign and he is playing his best baseball at the right time. He had a standout ACC Tournament. A year ago, Miami didn't even know if they were going to get Collins and Abreu to campus. They were both highly-regarded high school seniors that were drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft. But they chose to come to Coral Gables and they've both been impact players.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (40-18, Big 12 at-large)

Top Hitters:
Eric Gutierrez- .313 BA, .416 OBP, 15 doubles, 12 HR, 56 RBI
Adam Kirsch- .300 BA, 19 doubles, 9 HR, 48 RBI
Bryant Burleson- .299 BA, 19 doubles, 3 triples, 37 RBI
Stephen Smith- .292 BA, .426 OBP, 12 doubles, 3 triples, 20 RBI
Tyler Neslony- .412 BA, .487 OBP, 12 doubles, 4 triples, 4 HR, 31 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Dylan Dusek- 6-0, 2.35 ERA, .250 BAA
Dominic Moreno- 4-5, 3.17 ERA, .269 BAA
Chris Sadberry- 4-2, 3.45 ERA
Corey Taylor- 19 apps., 47 IP, 2.68 ERA,
Jonny Drozd- 22 apps., 63 IP, 2.14 ERA, 3 SV, .240 BAA

Summary: Considering how good the Texas Tech program was back in the 90s, it's hard to believe that it has been ten years since they were last in a regional. But it's true. This is their first regional appearance since 2004. And this team is one that's good enough to make some noise and not just be content with being here.

The offense leads the way for the Red Raiders. Eric Gutierrez may be the most underrated player in the Big 12. Some other players went through extended slumps or injuries during the course of the season, but he was steady all season long. Speaking of injuries, they are getting healthy at the right time. Tyler Neslony is fully healthy after missing some time. When he has been in the lineup, he has been a destructive force. Veteran infielder Tim Proudfoot has also had a nice season (.312 BA, 18 RBI) after overcoming a shoulder injury early in the season.

If nothing else, Tech has a ton of depth to draw from at the plate. Fourteen different players have started 17 games or more.

On the mound, they have talent, but they've struggled to get consistency. Dylan Dusek, just a freshman, has been a pleasant surprise as a standout in the rotation. Sadberry has had some fantastic starts, but he faded a bit as the season wore on. Moreno began the season in the rotation, but has been coming out of the bullpen of late. Taylor, who has pitched primarily out of the bullpen, has emerged as another starting option. Whether or not Texas Tech challenges to advance past the regionals has everything to do with their ability to get quality starts from the guys they throw out there.

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