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Miami and Florida Hold Pitchers' Duel at McKethan Stadium

March 5, 2011

floridabbheader030511.jpg
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: A. DeSclafani (2-0)
#24 Miami 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 L: E.J. Encinosa (0-2)
#1 Florida 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 X 1 6 0  
Batting

2B: D. Pigott, Z. Powers
HR: N/A
RBI: B. Smith
SB: D. Carey

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Miami sophomore pitcher E.J. Encinosa was charged with just one run on Saturday, as it ended up being the only score top-ranked University of Florida needed to clinch the series against the 24th-ranked Hurricanes with a 1-0 win at McKethan Stadium.

It was pinch hitter Bryson Smith’s single to right field in the eighth inning off UM reliever Sam Robinson that scored Josh Adams for the only run of the game by either team, allowing the Gators to win their fifth consecutive game against the Hurricanes. UF has taken the last four contests in Gainesville, respectively.

Miami (4-6) got great defense and pitching on Saturday, but the bats were just unable to come alive as Florida (9-1) pitchers Hudson Randall and Anthony DeSclafani held the ‘Canes in check with a combined one-hit shutout in the second game of the three-game series.

E.J. Encinosa (0-2) was equally impressive through his seven complete frames on the mound. Allowing runners in scoring position three times in the first six innings, Encinosa was able to pitch his way out of it each time and keep the scoreboard clean in the runs column – thanks in part to the defensive efforts of junior Preseason All-American Harold Martinez on two occasions.

The Gators appeared ready to break through in the scoring column in the fifth with a man on third and one out. But it was Harold Martinez making a heads-up move at third to snag the ground ball and tag out Florida’s Daniel Pigott who was too far off the bag, before throwing over to Brad Fieger at first for the out on the batter, Josh Adams.

With just one base runner allowed in five innings by Florida’s Randall, UMiami freshman outfielder Dale Carey collected the Hurricanes’ only hit of the day in the sixth with a leadoff single to center. After advancing to second on the sac bunt by sophomore Stephen Perez, Carey was left stranded at third after Randall got the next two UM batters to ground out and end the threat.

Pigott got on again in the bottom of the seventh after a single to right before UM assistant head coach J.D. Arteaga made a walk out to the mound to speak with Encinosa. The very next batter – Powers – grounded into the Gators’ second double play of the game, leading to a 5-4-3 end to the frame.

While charged with the loss after a beautiful pitching performance, Encinosa finished the game for Miami with seven innings pitched, allowing just the one run on five hits, three strikeouts and two walks. Encinosa lowers his record to 0-2 on the year for the ‘Canes, dropping his last two decisions on the mound.

Florida reliever Anthony DeSclafani earned the win out of the bullpen with two innings worked, striking out two and not allowing a single base runner. The Gators’ starter – Randall – went seven innings on the bump, keeping the ‘Canes in check with just one hit and striking out five for his second win of the campaign.

Daniel Pigott was the leader at the plate in hits for UF, collecting two in three trips, followed by four Gators striking for a hit apiece – including Bryson Smith’s game-winning RBI single.

Miami’s only base runner on the day was Dale Carey, after collecting a hit and being hit by a pitch.

The Hurricanes will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday as right-handed pitcher Eric Whaley (2-0, 2.13 ERA) will toe the rubber for Miami, as Florida counters with right-hander Karsten Whitson (2-0, 0.87 ERA). The game will be televised on Sun Sports beginning at 12:30 p.m.

In the wake of Saturday’s loss, the Hurricanes were shut-out by the Gators for the first time since Feb. 13, 2004 – the season-opener for both teams. This is the first time since 1993 that UM has started a season 4-6, then under head coach Brad Kelley who spent just that one year as skipper in Coral Gables.

For more information on the University of Miami baseball team, please log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM Baseball Team via twitter, please navigate to Twitter.com/CanesBaseball. You can also access the official UMiami Baseball blog at TheUBaseball.com.

You can keep up-to-date with all UM Athletics via twitter at Twitter.com/HurricaneSports.  You can also become a fan of the ‘Canes on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.