University of Miami

Stetson starter to face a pair of old teammates in first start vs. Miami

Stetson pitcher Mitchell Jordan played with UM outfielders Willie Abreu, center, and Carl Chester.
Stetson pitcher Mitchell Jordan played with UM outfielders Willie Abreu, center, and Carl Chester. emichot@miamiherald.com

Stetson pitcher Mitchell Jordan has never faced the University of Miami.

But when he takes the mound in the Coral Gables Regional on Friday, Jordan will not only be starting against the No. 3 national seed in the NCAA Tournament on its home field, he’ll be pitching against two of his former teammates.

The junior right-hander played with UM outfielder Carl Chester at Lake Brantley High School and with outfielder Willie Abreu in the Cape Cod League last summer as part of the Orleans Firebirds.

“He’s an amazing kid,” Abreu said. “He’s one of my great friends, but on the field, we’re competitors. We’re excited to get out there and show him what we’ve got.”

After a stellar season in Cape Cod where he posted an 8-1 record on the mound and a league-record-tying 0.20 ERA in the regular season, Jordan is 6-5 in 14 starts for the Hatters with a 4.07 ERA. He has a team-best 73 innings of work and 71 strikeouts.

After a rough patch in the middle of the year, Jordan has found his groove once again, going 3-0 over his last five starts and has given up just seven earned runs over 25 1/3 frames — good for a 2.49 ERA.

“He’s started to regain his form,” said Stetson head coach Pete Dunn, ”but he’s going to have to play at his best.

MEET THE GODFATHER

Florida Atlantic head coach John McCormack has respect for Miami coach Jim Morris.

So much so that he gave the Hurricanes’ head coach of the last 23 years a new nickname on Thursday.

“Of course, Jim is ‘The Godfather’ of college baseball at this point, right?” McCormack said.

It’s easy to see why.

Morris has led the Hurricanes to the postseason in each of his 23 years as head coach, extending Miami’s overall postseason berth streak to 44 years.

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He has 1,530 wins as a Division I head coach, including a 12-year stint at Georgia Tech before accepting the job at UM in 1994.

He’s brought the Hurricanes to the College World Series 12 times, the most since Morris took the helm in Coral Gables.

The comment took Morris by surprise.

“I’ve never been referred to as The Godfather before. I don’t know how I’m gonna take that,” Morris responded before smiling.

LONG TRAVEL FOR LONG BEACH

It took a four-and-a-half hour flight from Los Angeles, but the Long Beach State baseball team is back in the Sunshine State for just the second time in three years.

And Long Beach coach Troy Buckley is just fine with that.

With the most-western regional this year being in Lubbock, Texas, teams from the Pac-12 and Big West found themselves heading to the east for the NCAA Regionals.

With that comes matchups with teams those school don’t normally face during the regular season, something Buckley endorses for the postseason.

“We all wanted to get shipped out,” Buckley said. “That was kind of our deal because what happens is exactly what’s happening in this regional. ... We’re the outlier coming into this state.”

WEATHER

Fans attending the Coral Gables regional this weekend should expect showers throughout the weekend.

While Friday is just supposed to be cloudy, there is a 30-percent chance of isolated thunderstorms on Saturday and an 80-percent chance of rain Sunday, according to the Weather Channel.

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