New pitching coach will bring aggressiveness to mound

By Luis Barroso/Staff Writer

As Spring rounds the corner, it means baseball season is also approaching, and for this FIU baseball team, a couple of questions still remain unanswered.

A big question coming into this offseason is the pitching staff, FIU is known for its offense but the pitching has held them back the past couple of years. As this season approaches, Head Coach Henry “Turtle” Thomas looks for the pitching performance to turn around.

Coming into the picture this season is Sam Peraza, he was named the new pitching coach for this upcoming season and he is ready to take on the challenges this season brings.

“I’m excited to be here, the boys have been working hard this Fall and Spring,” Peraza said. “and you will definitely see a more aggressive and competitive staff this season”

Peraza, a California native born and raised in Los Angeles, decided to make the jump to the East Coast after four collegiate seasons as a pitcher. Peraza finished his senior year at  San Diego State University, followed by nine successful seasons coaching in the West Coast, in programs such as Cal State L.A. University and Cal State Northridge, which he lead this past year to one of the most successful pitching seasons in program history.

Under Peraza, the team recorded it’s best earned run average in 21 years and reached a season-high in overall wins. A record that stood since since 2002.

Peraza brings some of the California knowledge and mindset into the South Florida stage. West Coast pitching differs from the East Coast because in California pitching is built more under a fundamentals and mechanics platform, while on the East Coast it is more about talent.

As Peraza makes his transition to Miami, he also brings new knowledge as well as new goals and expectations into the team and as his pitching staff.

“We have a couple of goals as a staff,” Peraza said. “The main ones being to walk less than two batters per nine innings, have a collective Earned Run Average of under four, and hopefully on the low three’s.”

This new pitching staff also has many weapons in their repertoire, there are “three Mikes” to look forward to in junior Mike Franco, senior Mike Gomez as well as junior Michael Ellis on the mound. They will all look to step up for the team as far as performance as well as leadership.

To help that big three there is also a very talented freshman upcoming class, a class that looks to stay at FIU for a while.

“Our approach towards hitters is to come right at them, it consists of attacking the hitters, and minimizing bases, staying aggressive and staying away from walks and hit-by-pitches in order to have successful innings,” Peraza said.

Peraza also looks to continue his success in one of his biggest coaching philosophies, something he calls “2-out finish” it consists of the ability of a pitcher to effectively close out innings after recording the first two outs.

Peraza will also focus on basic simple techniques in order for his pitchers to have success, techniques such as fielding your position, throwing strikes, controlling the 1-1 count and not beating yourself in order to compete. He will also focus on his pitchers to continue building the brotherhood philosophy picking each other up in order to build success in between the staff.


1 Comment on "New pitching coach will bring aggressiveness to mound"

  1. This is just what we need here at FIU! Omaha or bust!!!!! This is our time!

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