GAINESVILLE -- The Hurricanes got a jolt of bad news Friday night as slugger Harold Martinez needed what season-ending leg surgery following Miami's Game 1 loss in a super regional at the University of Florida.
Martinez has been limping for the past couple of days and couldn't play third base for the Hurricanes on Friday – Michael Broad took his spot as Martinez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Friday's 7-2 loss in Game 1 as Miami's designated hitter.
Broad will remain at third on Saturday with Chris Pelaez sliding up from the fifth spot to take Martinez's clean up spot.
Martinez, a sophomore from Braddock, ends his season batting .295 with a team-leading 21 homers and 69 RBI.
BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNANUniversity of Miami third baseman Harold Martinez is in Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville and will miss the first game of his college career -- a postseason super regional -- Saturday night against the Gators.
His season appears to be over.
Martinez, a 20-year-old sophomore who is projected as UM's top draft prospect next season, had a lump the size of a tennis ball removed from his left shin around midnight after Friday's super regional loss to UF. His shin, which had repeatedly been hit with foul balls this season when he was batting, had gotten infected.
He said he likely will remain at Shands until Monday, and then might have to be in a Miami hospital until the skin fills in and there is no danger of reinfection. It could take three weeks to heal, Martinez said.
``I've been in pain for a while,'' Martinez said by phone Saturday night before the game. ``But I didn't think much of it. I don't like missing games. I've always said the only way I'd miss a game is if I can't walk, and now I can't walk.''
Martinez, who leads UM with 21 home runs, was the designated hitter Friday night but was driven to the hospital by his father, Alexis, after the game. Alexis slept on the couch in his son's room, and the family -- including mother Ivon and 12-year-old sister Ellen -- was planning to watch the game together on TV.
``Everyone is feeling bad for Harold,'' Alexis said. ``On Friday, Harold almost could not run to first base.''
Martinez was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 19th round of the 2008 draft. He played for Miami Braddock High, and this past week was named to the NCAA Coral Gables Regional all-tournament team.UM (43-19) must defeat Florida (46-14) to stay alive in the NCAA tournament.
The Canes (shockingly) are going with lefty Chris Hernandez (10-3, 2.77) with Florida countering with Hudson Randall (8-3, 2.97).
Miami (43-19) is the home team tonight.
SS Nolan Fontana; DH Bryson Smith; 1B Preston Tucker; 3B Austin Maddox; CF Matt den Dekker; C Mike Zunino; LF Jon Pigott; 2B Josh Adams; RF Dan Pigott.
2B Frankie Ratcliff; 1B Scott Lawson; C Yasmani Grandal; RF Chris Pelaez; CF Nathan Melendres; 3B Michael Broad; DH Rony Rodriguez; SS Stephen Perez; LF Zeke DeVoss.
-- George Richards