PHOENIX -- Barry University’s baseball team is off to a strong start this spring and has broken into the top-25 rankings for the first time this season.
The Buccaneers are ranked No. 22 in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball after a 15-7, 4-2 SSC start. After losing three of four in Alabama-Huntsville and also dropping a 5-1 game against Division I Miami, Barry has reeled off six consecutive wins including a three-game sweep over Sunshine State Conference foe Saint Leo.
Junior Adrian English has bolstered the middle of the Bucs’ lineup and leads the team with a staggering .476 batting average. He also leads the Buccaneers in hits (39), doubles (13), and RBI (29).
Luis Arrizurieta has also proved to be a steady bat for the Bucs and is hitting .371 and has started 20 games, primarily behind the dish.
The emergence of Sheehan Planas-Arteaga who is hitting .471 with 13 RBI in his last ten games has been a big part of the Buccaneers’ success as of late and he will certainly play a large role in their success as the season unfolds.
A pair of freshman have also put together strong starts as slick-fielding shortstop J.C. Cardenas and outfielder Mike Diaz are both hitting over the .300 mark 22 games into the spring.
On the mound head coach Marc Pavao and pitching coach Alex Gonzalez have put together a solid staff led by senior Kevin Youst who bolsters a 3.31 ERA and leads the team with 20 K’s.
Freshman Billy Atkins has been impressive, pitching like a seasoned veteran thus far. Calvin Rayburn has made the transition to the starting rotation as expected and currently leads the team with a 4-1 record on the mound.
The bullpen has also displayed strong performances and hard-throwers such as Tyler Kinley, Joe Iorio and Tyler Petsch have all contributed to the Bucs hot start in 2013.
A pleasant surprise out of the bullpen has been redshirt freshman Adrian Benitez who has appeared in eight games and carries a 3-0 record with 13 K’s in 12.1 innings in relief.
The Bucs face St. Michael’s University tonight and Adelphi University on Tuesday. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m. with live video and live-stats available through the Barry University athletics website, GOBARRYBUCS.COM.
The Bucs return to SSC play this weekend in Lakeland, Fla. in a three game series against Florida Southern University beginning Friday at 7 p.m.