The Canes will open their 2012 baseball season with a three-game series at home against Rutgers on Friday, Feb. 17.
On Monday, UM announced that the baseball team has earned a No. 14 preseason ranking from Collegiate Baseball, which named its Top 25 teams.
Miami returns 18 letter-winners from 2011, including starting pitchers Bryan Radziewski, Eric Whaley and Steven Ewing. E.J. Encinosa will serve as the closer. The Canes finished 38-23 overall and 19-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2011. Jim Morris, who recently became a dad for the first time, will begin his 19th year as the Hurricanes head coach.
UM will host 16 of its first 18 games at Alex Rodriguez Park. Top-ranked Florida comes to Coral Gables on Friday, March 2 for a three-game series.
The ACC had five teams among College Baseball's Top 25. North Carolina is ranked No. 4, Georgia Tech, No. 9; Florida State, 13; the Canes, 14; and Clemson, 25. The Gators come in at No. 1 after finishing 53-19 last season and falling to South Carolina in the College World Series.
UM AVOIDS BEING AMONG AP's TOP-10 SPORTS STORIES OF YEAR (AND THAT'S A GOOD THING)
As most of you likely would have figured out on your own, the Associated Press reported today that, "the ouster of one of America's most revered coaches, Penn State's Joe Paterno, after shocking child sex abuse charges against his former assistant was overwhelmingly voted the sports story of the year by members of The Associated Press.''
The other Top 10 sports stories, according to AP, revolved around: NFL/NBA lockouts, the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl, college conference realignment, St. Louis Cardinals win World Series, Ohio State's NCAA saga, Dallas Mavericks beat Heat for NBA title, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon is killed during IndyCar's season finale, longtime Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is accused of molesting two former Syracuse ball boys and continuing saga, Japan beat U.S. in Women's World Cup final.
The NCAA investigation into UM and former booster Nevin Shapiro continues. Don't know when that will wrap up, but not in time for this year's list for sure.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN