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Should highly touted catcher Peter O’Brien get a transfer waiver from the NCAA to avoid sitting out a year, Miami’s chances of reaching the College World Series in 2012 just got much better.
Bethune-Cookman suffered a crushing blow earlier this summer when long-time head coach Mervyl Melendez surprisingly resigned to assume the same post at Alabama State.
The Wildcats once again have been dealt a blow, as O’Brien left the university and is now enrolled at Miami and competing with the Hurricanes.
Actually transferring to Miami was the easy part for O’Brien. Now comes the waiver process, which Hurricanes sources are confident about based on the grounds of personal family reasons. O’Brien is a Miami native.
“Very good,” a Miami source said about the potential of a transfer waiver.
The waiver appeals process shouldn't take long. The Hurricanes are soon expected to submit paperwork to the NCAA, with hopes of getting a decision on the issue at some point in October.
Having O’Brien, a 6-foot-5, 225 pounder, at their disposal in the spring would be huge for the Hurricanes. O’Brien blossomed as one of the nation’s elite prospects the past two seasons, hitting .304 with 14 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs and 69 RBIs for the Wildcats in ‘11. He also slugged .557 and had a .382 OBP and .939 OPS.
O’Brien surprised many this summer when he didn’t sign with the Rockies as a third-round selection. He would be a senior for the Hurricanes in the spring.
O’Brien’s addition isn’t the only good news the Hurricanes have received this summer. Talented left-handed pitcher Eric Erickson, who sat out last season to recover from an arm injury, returns to the program for another season after earning an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. His return to the program is huge should he stay healthy.
It’s also worth noting sophomore catcher Shane Rowland has transferred to the University of Tampa, a Division II power. Rowland played in 49 games for the Hurricanes last season, tallying a .175 batting average with a home run and 13 RBIs in 120 at bats. He also had a .315 OBP.
The Hurricanes finished the 2011 season with a 43-20 overall record and advanced to the Gainesville Super Regional.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org