University of Miami

Miami Hurricanes dismiss pitcher Derik Beauprez, suspend starting shortstop Brandon Lopez

Pitcher Derik Beauprez was dismissed from the University of Miami baseball team.
Pitcher Derik Beauprez was dismissed from the University of Miami baseball team. For the Miami Herald

University of Miami junior pitcher Derik Beauprez was dismissed from the Hurricanes baseball program, the Miami Herald learned Monday.

The Herald also learned that starting shortstop Brandon Lopez has been suspended and will miss the first several games of the season, possibly as many as six.

Additionally, sophomore reserve outfielder Justin Smith is suspended indefinitely.

A UM spokesman confirmed the information Monday afternoon, saying all three violated team rules.

This is the third consecutive year that Lopez, a senior, has started the season suspended — at least one time because of academics. If his suspension is for more than four games, Lopez would miss part of the Florida series, scheduled for Feb. 26-Feb. 28 at Alex Rodriguez Park in Coral Gables.

The Gators are ranked No. 1 in the nation.

UM, which begins its season at home Friday with a three-game series against Rutgers, declined specific comments regarding any of the players.

The loss of Beauprez (3-2 in 2015) — a powerful 6-5, 230-pound righty from Cherry Hills Village, Colorado — is significant because he would have been a factor in Miami’s bullpen, if not a midweek starter. Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round out of Cherry Creek High, he had 19 appearances last season, with four starts. He pitched 32 innings, walking 21 and striking out 29. He finished the season with a 5.62 ERA.

UM’s opening-night starter will be left-handed senior Thomas Woodrey, likely followed by left-handed sophomore Michael Mediavilla on Saturday and left-handed junior Danny Garcia on Sunday.

Lopez’s suspension will also hurt. He hit .303 last season, with nine doubles, two triples and 23 RBI and had three three-hit games in the postseason. A likely replacement for Lopez in the opening series is junior infielder Johnny Ruiz.

Smith saw limited action last season, hitting .237 in 24 games, with three starts.

The Hurricanes, ranked as high as No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 by Baseball America, finished last season 50-17, earning their first berth in the College World Series since 2008. They won one game in the CWS, but lost two, including the elimination game, to the Gators.

Susan Miller Degnan: 305-376-3366, @smillerdegnan

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