By Matt Gatewood
The Cardinals hope to start and finish out this season strongwith a tough closer. Carlos Fernandez, a senior accounting majorfrom Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami, Florida, has madea profound impression on the field. He hopes to keep up some of hisgreat play this year as the Card’s main closer.
Coming from the warm, sunny climate of Florida, Fernandez hasadjusted more than well by heating up the field. Carlos wasted notime in breaking records. He led the team in saves last year withfour, tying for eighth on U of L’s all-time record. In a total of27 appearances, Carlos threw skillfully, leading to a 3-3 recordand a 3.94 ERA, tying another Card’s record for fourth all-time ina single season.
Not only that, he throws consistently. Fernandez threw for 15.3scoreless consecutive innings. In all of this, he allowed onlyseven hits and two walks with 14 strike outs. Two years ago, Carloslead the team with 4.44 ERA. Throughout the past three years,Fernandez claims a 4.85 ERA overall in 128 innings pitched, whilethrowing 81 strike outs altogether.
Fernandez knows how to stay solid through the tough spots. “Ienjoy coming in when the game is tight. I like the pressure,” saidFernandez.
Fernandez came to the Cards as a pitcher and a first baseman.After some advice, he decided to concentrate solely on pitchingrather than dividing his time with both pitching and hitting.Carlos has found his niche on the mound at the end of games, and ithas worked very well for the team.
The Cardinals hope to play well this year with anotherappearance in the regional tournament. “We have a good team, and weare close. Everyone works hard. It is good to be around them,” saidCarlos.
The team hopes to continue to gel together, especially withdependable throwing at the end of the games. Fernandez’s greatesthighlight in his play at U of L came last year when the team wentto the regional tournament for the first time in schoolhistory.
“Going to regional was unbelievable,” he said. “Anything lessthis year would be disappointing.” And the notable depth and strongplay of the men’s baseball team hopes to accomplish that feat.
After graduation, Carlos hopes to play professional baseball. Ifnot, he says that he will come back to finish his schooling. Foryoung players coming up, Fernandez says to work hard because younever know when it is all going to end. He also says to “enjoy itand work hard. Take advantage of your opportunities.”