THE ROAD TO OMAHA Baseball guide 2020

Last season ended in heartbreak for Hurricanes baseball after they were bounced from the NCAA tournament in the Starkville Regional. But with the majority of the starting lineup returning this season, the Canes are ranked in the top 10 of every major preseason poll. Led by captains Brian Van Belle and Adrian Del Castillo, the Canes have one goal in mind: return to Omaha, Nebraska, the location of the College World Series, a place where the Canes were once regulars, but haven't been since the 2016 season.

Miami will face another tough schedule in 2020. After opening the season against Rutgers, the Hurricanes will host the ranked Florida Gators, Louisville and North Carolina and travel to face Duke, Florida State and Georgia Tech.

JP Gates (top left), Raymond Gil (top right) and Slade Cecconi (bottom) are all returning players.

Gino DiMare enters his second year as head coach of the team after serving as an assistant from 2012-2018. DiMare also served as an assistant to Jim Morris from 1997-2008.

Junior Daniel Federman will be Miami's main bullpen pitcher this season.

This year’s squad features perhaps one of the most dominant weekend rotations in all of college baseball with Brian Van Belle, Chris McMahon and Slade Cecconi. Van Belle and McMahon were both in last year’s starting rotation, and Cecconi, a true sophomore, served as the team’s weekday starter. The weekday starter this season will be either Tyler Keysor, a senior who pitched in relief last season, or Alex McFarland, a right-handed freshman who was Miami’s biggest recruit of the 2020 class.

The bullpen is the biggest question headed into the season. Returning pitcher Daniel Federman will be Miami's primary reliever. The Canes will look to Keysor, Albert Maury, Jr., Alex Ruiz and JP Gates to fill the rest of the bullpen.

"To go through everything that we went through last year, all the ups and downs, especially the downs, you learn from failure and everything that went wrong. I feel like the guys have embraced it and we’ve taken on the challenge and gone head at it."

- Alex Toral

Hitting will undoubtedly be Miami’s biggest strengths this season. Junior first baseman Alex Toral led the ACC in home runs last season and is expecting to build off last year’s success. Sophomore Adrian Del Castillo will transition into his role as full time catcher with the departure of former catcher Michael Amditis. Del Castillo looks to continue to live up to his glittering resume from last season as one of the top hitters on the team.

Sophomore Adrian Del Castillo, one of two captains for this season, is preparing to transition into the team's full-time catcher.
"He is very humble, very even keeled kid. Not a guy that gets excited or too down even. You don't hear him boasting a lot. He's just not that guy. He's gonna handle all that stuff fine. It's certainly a joy for a coach to have a kid like that," DiMare said on Del Castillo

With the entire starting infield from last season returning, Miami should have limited problems defensively. Toral, second baseman Anthony Vilar, shortstop Freddy Zamora and third baseman Raymond Gil will anchor Miami’s infield while Jordan Lala, Tony Jenkins and Gabe Rivera round out the outfield.

Freshman Jared Thomas impressed Coach DiMare in preseason workouts and will no doubt find his way onto the field.

Sports Editor: Isabella Didio

Senior Sports Writer: Austin Pert

Photographer/Videographer: Josh Halper