University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris will start left-handed redshirt sophomore Andy Suarez (5-3, 3.22 ERA) in the Hurricanes' Coral Gables Regional opener at 7 p.m. Friday.
Suarez will pitch opposite Bethune-Cookman ace Montana Durapau (11-1, 1.71).
Morris said he wouldn't announce any future pitchers until he sees who he's playing and who would best match up.
Durapau, a right-handed senior from Deltona, Fla., has faced Miami three times in his career. He beat the Hurricanes 7-3 this past March 11th, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on nine hits and two walks in eight innings. He struck out seven.
Durapau also beat the Canes 5-3 on April 3, 2013 in Coral Gables. He allowed two earned runs and struck out seven in seven innings.
In 2012 as a sophomore, Durapau pitched three innings of relief in a game that UM won 5-4. However, Durapau did not allow a hit and struck out four batters in his stint.
As for Suarez, his last start was Wednesday in the ACC Tournament opener against Georgia Tech. UM lost that game 6-3, but Suarez got a no-decision (Cooper Hammond got the loss) in that game, Suarez allowed three earned runs on nine hits and a wild pitch in 6.1 innings. He allowed no walks and struck out five. He also made an error.
Suarez usually is the second-day weekend starter for UM, with Chris Diaz usually the Friday-night pitcher. But Diaz pitched last Thursday in UM's second game of the ACC tourney, and "he had some problems with his index finger,'' Morris said Monday. Morris said Diaz had problems throwing his knuckle curve "because of not being able to put pressure on it,'' and therefore not being able to locate his pitches.
Morris said "he's fine now.''
Said Morris on Tuesday: "I'm very confident in all our pitchers and we feel this is the best rotation for us.''
Of course, we actually don't know the tournament rotation for the Hurricanes yet, but we will soon enough.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN