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Miami Baseball Season Comes to an End at Florida

June 5, 2011

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Alex Panteliodis (6-2)
#1 Florida 3 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 13 0 L: E.J. Encinosa (5-6)
#16 Miami 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 4 10 2  

2B: P. Tucker, D. Pigott, V. Ramjit
HR: P. Tucker (13), C. Mack (3)
RBI: N. Fontana, T. Thompson (2), D. Pigott, V. Ramjit, R. Rodriguez, B. Fieger, C. Mack (2)
SB: V. Ramjit

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Top ranked and No. 2 overall seed Florida plated 11 in the first three innings to cruise to a 11-4 victory over No. 16 and second-seed Miami in an elimination game at the Gainesville [Fla.] Regional on Sunday, June 5, at McKethan Stadium. The Gators claimed the Gainesville Regional title in the process.

Preston Tucker’s three-run homer in the top of the first started what would be a long first three innings for the Hurricanes. And it was the start of the end of the season as well for the Hurricanes of Miami (38-23).

The Gators (48-16) got to UMiami starter E.J. Encinosa early as Tucker posted his school-record tying ninth NCAA Tournament home run, shooting an Encinosa breaking pitch over the right field wall for the 3-0 advantage in the first inning.

With Miami needing a strong and long start from Encinosa to try and relieve the bullpen from any extended action – should the Hurricanes win Sunday and force a Regional championship game on Monday – the Miami sophomore was unable to give head coach Jim Morris the quality start. Encinosa was chased in the third as the Gators hung an eight-spot on the Canes – the second-most allowed by UM in an inning this season, and matching the most runs scored by the Gators in a frame on the year.

Mike Zunino began the third inning onslaught with a RBI single to right that brought in Bryson Smith for the 4-0 UF advantage. Tyler Thompson later registered a two-run double to center that scored Tucker and Zunino, increasing the Gators lead to 7-0.

Encinosa would be relieved on the mound by freshman Javi Salas after tossing 2 1/3, taking the loss on seven runs over four hits and walking two. Encinosa’s loss dropped his to 5-6 on the year.

Daniel Pigott drove in Thompson as the first batter Salas would face, and former UMiami player Vickash Ramjit scored him with a RBI single to right. That increased the lead to 8-0, before Nolan Fontana plated Ramjit with a sacrifice fly to left for the 9-0 Gators lead.

Two batters later, Tucker stepped to the plate again and delivered a two-run double to score Cody Dent and Bryson Smith for an 11-0 lead in favor of the No. 2 overall seed host Florida Gators.

Salas would stop the bleeding for the Hurricanes after Encinosa was tagged for seven of the 11 runs allowed – six of them earned. UF led 11-0 after three innings of play.

Miami would get a couple of hits in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, but UF starting pitcher Alex Panteliodis would not allow a run across.

UMiami sophomore left fielder Chantz Mack broke the shutout in the seventh with a solo shot to right that brought the Hurricanes to within, 11-1. For Mack, it was his third homer of the year – two of them to right (holding two of Miami’s three homers to right on the campaign).

Panteliodis would leave the game in the bottom of the seventh after allowing just a single run on five hits in 6 2/3 tossed. He took the win to improve his record to 6-2 on the year.

Miami staged another late-inning comeback in the eighth, using three runs to cut the score to the final, 11-4.

Zeke DeVoss started the scoring with a RBI single to right that plated Nathan Melendres – getting the hit and run off UF reliever Anthony DeSclafani. After Brad Fieger drove in Melendres to trim the Gators lead, 11-3, DeSclafani was chased for Gators left-hander Steven Rodriguez.

The third run was tagged to DeSclafani, though it was Mack’s sac fly to left that plated Rodriguez for the final Hurricanes score.

UM relievers Salas and AJ Salcines went the final 6 2/3 for the Hurricanes, giving up nine hits and four runs – one earned – with the runs charged to Salas.

Miami ends the year failing to advance to a Super Regional, since the Super Regional format started in 1998, for just the third time. It is the second time in the last three years UM has been eliminated in the Gainesville Regional, and the third time in as many years the Canes have had their season end in Gainesville. UM lost in the Gainesville Super Regional last season.

Meanwhile, Florida advances to host the winner of the Atlanta [Ga.] Regional next weekend at McKethan Stadium. The winner will either be Georgia Tech or Mississippi State.

The Major League Baseball Draft is tomorrow, and several UM players are eligible for the upcoming big day for collegiate and high school baseball players around the nation.

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.

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