Hurricanes left-handed sophomore Chris Diaz, a six-foot, 195-pounder out of Gulliver Prep, is slated to start the first game for UM against Oklahoma State in the Louisville Regional that begins at 2 p.m. Friday (ESPN3).
Diaz is 6-5 this season with a 1.75 ERA. He gave up six runs -- only three of them earned -- on eight hits and four walks in six innings during a 7-1 loss to NC State in the ACC Tournament last week.
The Cowboys (39-17) are expected to start 6-foot-1, 197-pound sophomore Jason Hursh (6-4, 2.65). His last appearance was a no-decision on May 23 against TCU.
The Cowboys have a .285 team batting average and a 2.93 composite ERA. The Hurricanes (36-23) have a .260 batting average and a 3.33 ERA.
UM Coach Jim Morris remains hospitalized with pneumonia at Duke University, but I hear he very badly wants to leave for Louisville by Friday. Have no idea how that will all play out, except that it appears increasingly likely that assistant Gino DiMare will be the skipper for at least the first game.
I hope Jim gets well soon, regardless.
If you haven't seen Barry Jackson's Buzz column, check it out. http://tinyurl.com/pzbxb7o Lots of UM news regarding the NCAA, quarterback/third baseman David Thompson and former UM receivers coach Aubrey Hill getting the head coaching job at Miami Carol City High.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN