College Sports

These are 20 of the top South Florida college sports figures for 2018

Miami pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt (19) throws in the fifth inning as the University of Miami hosts Florida State University at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Friday, April 21, 2017.
Miami pitcher Jeb Bargfeldt (19) throws in the fifth inning as the University of Miami hosts Florida State University at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on Friday, April 21, 2017. Miami Herald File

With 2018 upon us, here are 20 South Florida college sports figures to watch for in the first half of the new year:

NCAA Division I

▪ Logan Allen, a baseball recruit at Florida International University, is a freshman left-handed pitcher who can also hit and play first base. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 16th round but turned down pro ball for now.

▪ Jeb Bargfeldt, a senior baseball star for University of Miami, finished second in the ACC last season with a 2.28 ERA, which ranked No. 1 among starters. He held batters to a .198 average, sixth-best in the ACC.

0498 NORTH FLORIDA VS UM basketball 112517
Miami Hurricanes guard Bruce Brown Jr. (11) drives to the basket in the first half as the University of Miami Hurricanes host the North Florida Ospreys on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. AL DIAZ Miami Herald File

▪ Bruce Brown, a UM sophomore basketball player from Boston, is one of the top talents in the ACC. The 6-5 guard has been projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

1054 UM vs LONG BEACH STATE Regional 060516 ADD
Miami pitcher Andrew Cabezas (53) and teammates celebrate after defeating Long Beach State 4-3 at Alex Rodriguez Park in the NCAA Baseball Championship Coral Gables Regional on Saturday, June 4, 2016. AL DIAZ Miami Herald File

▪ Andrew Cabezas, a UM junior baseball star, is set to be a closer in 2018. Last season, he made 35 appearances, and he led the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 2.14 ERA. His 11.49 strikeouts per nine innings ranked second in the league.

IMG_Dinsmore_3_2_1_O4B828E6_L311767681
David Dinsmore, a sophomore diver at UM, is the reigning NCAA national champ in platform. Miami Herald File

▪ David Dinsmore, a sophomore diver at UM, is the reigning NCAA national champ in platform. He also won an ACC gold medal in the same event.

▪ Briadam Herrera, a Cuba native and a senior at UM, is the reigning ACC Diver of the Year and a five-time All-American. He finished second in the nation last season in the three-meter springboard and has won four gold medals at ACC finals and a bronze at the 2014 World University Games.

IMG_1_Andrea_Lazaro_7_1_3JB6AVF7_L309536866
Andrea Lazaro, a Florida International University senior from Spain, was named the 2017 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Year. ROY VIERA Miami Herald File

▪ Andrea Lazaro, a senior from Spain, was named the 2017 Conference USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Year. The FIU standout was one of 64 players to make the NCAA Tournament last fall but lost her first-round match on May 24 against Florida’s Belinda Woolcock. However, after a strong fall, Lazaro has moved up to No. 3 in the Oracle/ITF college rankings.

▪ Sinead Lohan, a senior from Ireland, leads UM’s tennis team. She reached the semifinals of the NCAA singles championship as a sophomore, the quarterfinals as a freshman and the second round as a junior. She is a two-time All-ACC player, as well as a one-time All-American.

TRACK0506 SYMONE CTJ
Symone Mason, a freshman at UM, is the 2017 USA Track and Field 200-meter sprint champion. Formerly of Miami Southridge High, she’s pictured in May 2017 winning the Girls 200 Meter Dash 4A Varsity race at the FHSAA Track and Field State Championships at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. CHARLES TRAINOR JR ctrainor@miamiherald.com

▪ Symone Mason, a freshman at UM, is the 2017 USA Track and Field 200-meter sprint champion, finishing second in the event at the Pan American Junior Championships in Peru. She also finished third in the 100 meters in Peru.

0542 UM vs FIU baseball 042517
University of Miami head coach Jim Morris in the dugout as Florida International University hosts the University of Miami at FIU Baseball Stadium, on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. AL DIAZ Miami Herald File

▪ Jim Morris, UM’s 67-year-old baseball coach, is retiring after the upcoming season. This will be his 25th season at Miami, where he won College World Series championships in 1999 and 2001. But the program’s 44-year, NCAA-postseason streak was snapped by the 2017 UM team, and Morris wants to be able to go out with a long playoff run. “Jim is the godfather of college baseball,” FAU coach John McCormack said.

IMG_1_Estela_Perez-Somar_5_1_HUBJ00CR_L320460083
Estela Perez-Somarriba, a sophomore tennis star from Spain, last season became the first UM tennis player to reach the NCAA singles semifinals as a freshman. BILL KALLENBERG Miami Herald File

▪ Estela Perez-Somarriba, a sophomore tennis star from Spain, last season became the first UM tennis player to reach the NCAA singles semifinals as a freshman.

▪ Gabrielle Rains, a sophomore track and field star for FIU, earned a bronze medal in discus for her native Canada this past summer in the Under-20 Pan American Championships in Peru.

▪ Shannon Saile, a 5-7 FIU sophomore softball star, was the only pitcher in the nation to pitch at least eight shutouts last season. She was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, finishing fifth in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings. She was named first-team All-Conference USA, leading the league with a 1.51 ERA.

108 Terriers vs Hurricanes DS
Miami Hurricanes guard Lonnie Walker IV at the free throw line during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Boston University Terriers at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. David Santiago Miami Herald File

▪ Lonnie Walker IV, a UM freshman basketball player from Pennsylvania, is a 2017 McDonald’s All-American. The 6-5 guard has been projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

NCAA Division II

▪ Jake Anchia, a Nova Southeastern University baseball star, is a prospect for the 2018 Major League Baseball draft. He’s a 6-1, 210-pound catcher with right-handed power and a strong arm. In 2016, he hit eight homers and led NSU to a Division II national title. He also set the NSU freshman home run record, held previously by current MLB star JD Martinez. Anchia was even better as a sophomore last season, hitting .326 and leading NSU in doubles (15), homers (17) and slugging percentage (.719).

▪ Jim Crutchfield is coaching NSU’s men’s basketball revival. Last season, NSU finished 6-20, and the Sharks made a coaching change, bringing in Crutchfield from Division II West Liberty. In his final eight years at West Liberty, Crutchfield’s team reached the NCAA Elite Eight round of the playoff each time. And, in his first 10 games at NSU, Crutchfield led the Sharks to a 9-1 record and a top-25 national ranking.

▪ David Dennis, a 6-1 junior and a basketball star at NSU, leads the Sunshine State Conference in steals (4.1) and assists (8.3). He ranks third in scoring (21.9). He transferred to NSU this season from West Liberty, joining Crutchfield.

IMG_P2_2_1_BSCPKNRV_L353444219
Elvar Fridriksson played at LIU-Brooklyn before arriving at Barry as a sophomore. Joel Auerbach Miami Herald File

▪ Elvar Fridriksson is a men’s basketball star at Barry University. He ranks second in the Sunshine State Conference in three-point percentage (46.6 percent); third in assists (6.8) and fourth in scoring (21.3). A 6-0 senior from Iceland, Fridriksson led the nation in assists (8.1) as a sophomore and ranked fifth in assists (7.7) as a junior.

▪ Sonja Larsen, a native of Germany and a Barry senior, is the No. 1 singles tennis player in the nation in Division II. Earlier this year, she became the first Barry player to win the ITA Division II Fall National Championship.

▪ Tilda Larsson is only five-foot-three, but she’s a golfing power at Barry. In her initial collegiate season, she earned first-team All-America honors and was named the Sunshine State Conference’s Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore last season, she led Barry to its first-ever women’s golf national championship. She was also named an All-American Scholar with a grade-point average over 3.5. A native of Sweden, Larsson is a leading contender this season to earn National Golfer of the Year honors.

  Comments