Canes Defeated by Florida in Game Two
March 3, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes came out strong in their second game against the No. 1 Florida Gators on Saturday night, but faltered down the stretch in a 13-5 loss at Alex Rodriguez Park.
4,999 people watched the two in-state rivals face off in Coral Gables, as the Gators stretched their winning streak to 10 consecutive games over Miami. It was the tenth-largest crowd in stadium history, and the highest recorded attendance since an April 1999 contest against Florida State (5,063).
Catcher Peter O’Brien got Miami going in the game’s first inning. The senior captain, taking part in his first rivalry series as a member of the Hurricanes, crushed a two-run homerun over the fence in centerfield to give his team the early advantage. O’Brien tacked on another RBI in the third inning, this time on a single to centerfield that plated Julian Santos, to give Miami a 3-0 lead.
The Gators’ bats would soon end their silence, however, exploding for eight combined runs over the fourth and fifth innings. Pitcher Brian Johnson and first baseman Taylor Gushue started the scoring with back-to-back homeruns in the fourth to tie the game at three, while Gushue added his second homerun of the game on a three-run shot in the very next frame.
Junior Eric Whaley (1-1), who allowed 10 hits and eight runs in his 4.1 innings of work, received the loss. The Miami bullpen allowed another five runs in relief of Whaley, including one each by Javi Salas, Alex San Juan and Vince Kossak. Andrew Suarez, who entered the game in place of Whaley in the fifth inning, labored through his five recorded outs, giving up four hits and two earned runs.
Leftfielder Daniel Pigott (4-for-5, two runs), Johnson (4-for-5, 5 RBI) and Gushue (3-for-4, 4 RBI) led the way offensively for the Gators, while O’Brien (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Perez (2-for-4, 2 RBI) powered the Hurricane lineup.
The Canes, sporting a 5-3 lead entering the top of the fith, were shut down by Greg Larson, who came on for pitcher Brian Johnson (3.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER). Larson retired all fourteen batters he faced from the third inning onward, striking out four batters in a flawless 4.2 innings of work. It was a career-long appearance for Larson, who earned his first win of the year for the Gators.
The two teams will finish out their series on Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park, with first pitch set for 1:00 p.m. Sophomore Bryan Radziewski (1-0, 5.59 ERA) will take the mound for the Canes in the series finale.
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