CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Miami Hurricanes host #1 Florida State for a three-game series beginning…
LHP Maine Returns as Team's Ace
This fall Maine wants to work on a couple of new pitches and improve his velocity as well as locating his pitches on the edges. Maine is scheduled to pitch 11 innings in intrasquad games over the next 15 days.
"The fall helps a lot of ways," said Maine, who did not participate in fall practices last year. "You are facing top hitters and our hitters are as good as anyone's so it prepares you. With the innings you pitch in the fall you can work on stuff where it doesn't really matter if you give up runs. You get to throw stuff that you really wouldn't throw in the regular season to see if it would be successful."
Maine, who stands 6-foot-4, begins fall practices at 210 pounds, up 15 from last year when he played at 195.
"It feels good, I feel a lot stronger," said Maine on the extra weight. "Hopefully it will help with velocity and keeping my arm in shape over the year."
His goal is to get up to 220 pounds by the start of the season. That's quite a change since arriving at UM in 2003 at 155 pounds.
In the offseason Maine had a decision to make after being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 20th round.
"Colorado came out to see me pitch twice in summer ball and they called to ask what it would take for me to sign," Maine said. "I told them and they couldn't come up with that kind of money of what round I was drafted in so it was an easy decision."
Maine said he is "definitely glad to be back" and is just two semesters away from earning a liberal arts degree. He has aspirations of taking engineering classes, but was unable to because the time slots the classes are offered conflict with baseball priorities.
This year Maine enters the season as the team's ace, a responsibility he is excited about.
"I did start off as a No. 3 or 4 guy last year because of the accident, but mentally I was the No. 1 guy," Maine said. "Coming into last year I told the coaches I wanted to be the No. 1 guy. I tried to perform like that on the mound and set examples for the younger guys.
"Hopefully this year being the Friday night starter on February 2, I set a tone throughout the whole season for the rest of the starters against whoever it may be."
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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