FIU baseball kicks off the season tonight at 6 p.m. against Stony Brook. This series will be a great matchup for FIU and will present a challenge right from the start. Unlike most college baseball programs who start off the season against much lower division opponents, FIU will be tested early against a Stony Brook team that was a part of the College World Series last year.
The 2013 FIU baseball team is picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference this season. As we all know pre season ranking do not mean much but it is an indication that opposing coaching staffs feel FIU baseball will have success this season.
True freshman first basemen Edwin Rios out of Osceola High School in Orlando, Florida had a tremendous pre season. Very few freshmen come in and become one of the top hitters in the fall but Rios accomplished that goal. Rios will most likely have the biggest impact on the team out of the entire freshman class and will be starting game one at first base.
The biggest impact position player who transferred to FIU will be junior third basemen Josh Anderson. Last season Anderson played junior college baseball at Yavapai in Prescott, Arizona. Like Rios, Anderson had a tremendous pre season and will be starting game one at third base.
Look for another transfer from Hillsborough Community College, junior Tyler Alexander to make an immediate impact as well. Alexander's impact will be on the mound as he is currently slated to be the Game 2 starter on Saturday.
The team captains are senior second basemen T.J. Shantz and pitcher Mike Gomez.
Also performing well this fall and will contribute this season are freshman pitcher Dillon Maya from Coral Gables High School in Miami, Florida and catcher Chris May who is a junior that transferred from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Currently the mid week starter is slated to be freshman Alex Seibold out of American Heritage High School in Lauderhill, Florida.
The bullpen is led by senior captain, closer Mike Gomez with the set up man being Mitchell Davis who is a junior transfer from Grayson and Northeast Texas Junior College.
Below are the projected starters on defense in no particular order:
1B - Edwin Rios
2B - T.J. Shantz
3B - Josh Anderson
SS - Julius Gaines
CF - Roche Woodard / Tyler Hibbert
LF- Zach Sweety
RF- Nate Burns
DH - Oscar Aguierre / Mandy Alvarez
C - Aramis Garcia
Friday - Mike Ellis
Saturday - Tyler Alexander
Sunday - Ty Sullivan / Mike Franco