This article is not about UM President Donna Shalala and her getting tough with the current NCAA investigation into UM athletics. No, instead it is about the Miami Hurricanes baseball team and their celebrated opening of the 2013 baseball season on Saturday.
It was just another warm, breezy and beautiful Winter day in Coral Gables when the Hurricanes hard-ballers held their annual FanFest and Alumni Game at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Over 40 former Hurricanes joined in for the festivities, which included inflatables (no comment) and face painting for youngsters (how cute), an autograph session with the 2013 team (how refreshing) and a nine-inning game between the Hurricanes and former stars (how exciting!).
“We had a really good turnout for FanFest,” head coach Jim Morris said. “It was fun to see people, sign posters for everyone. It was fun.”
Junior Dale Carey gave Miami the early advantage in the Alumni Game, connecting on an RBI single off pitching coach JD Arteaga in the first inning. Michael Broad’s RBI double down the leftfield line off San Francisco Giants’ minor leaguer EJ Encinosa extended the Canes’ lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second.
But the Alumni would not go down without a fight, as San Diego Padres’ first baseman Yonder Alonso connected on a two-RBI double to tie the game in the top of the third. Alonso, who finished the game 2-for-3, knocked in brothers Paco and Danny Figueroa on the play.
“Yonder had a big day swinging the bat, it’s good watching him,” Morris said. “You can see why he’s in the big leagues. All these guys are fun to watch and catch up with.”
Broad would add to his impressive night with a fourth-inning homerun, giving the Hurricanes a lead they would not relinquish. Miami would tack on two more runs in the sixth inning to clinch the victory. Sophomore starter Andrew Suarez and junior reliever AJ Salcines delivered strong showings
on the mound.
“I think it’s great when we get to play other people,” Morris said. “It’s always fun to watch our players play, to see who hits and who pitches and who gets it done. It was about watching them play as a team today.”
The Hurricanes officially begin their season Fri., Feb. 15 with an Opening Day showdown against visiting Rutgers University. For tickets to the 2013 baseball season, visit CanesTix.com.