No. 20 Miami Drops Series Finale to Gators
5-7 • 0-0 SEC
Gainesville, Fla. • McKethan Stadium at Perry Field
10-2 • 0-0 ACC
|W||J. Carmichael (1-1)|
|L||A. Suarez (1-1)|
Martin, Reid, Shafer 2
|G. Kennedy (1)|
|Bader, Gushue, Ramjit, Shafer|
|Hernandez, Kennedy, Mack|
March 3, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 20 Miami fell in its series finale with Florida Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium, dropping the afternoon affair by a final score of 6-3.
The Hurricanes struck first for the third straight game of the series, but dropped their second consecutive contest to close out their weekend in Gainesville. With the loss, Miami moved to 10-2 overall on the season.
The visitors opened the game’s scoring on an RBI groundout from senior Chantz Mack that plated freshman Ricky Eusebio in the top of the first. The first-year outfielder, who ripped a lead-off single off Gators’ righthander Eric Hanhold, stole second and then advanced to third on a flyout from junior Alex Hernandez. Mack, facing a 1-1 count, grounded out to shortstop Richie Martin, as Eusebio raced home from third for his first career run.
Florida responded with one of its own in the bottom of the frame. After sophomore lefthander Andrew Suarez (1-1) allowed back-to-back hits to give the Gators runners on second and third, an errant pick-off attempt to second base plated the tying run. Suarez would do well to limit the damage, however, inducing an inning-ending groundout from Gators’ first baseman Vickash Ramjit to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The Hurricanes looked to be building a threat in the top half of the second, when junior Brad Fieger led off the frame with a walk. After advancing to third on a groundout from Alex San Juan and a wild pitch from Hanhold, Michael Broad was plunked to give the Hurricanes runners on the corners. Hanhold, on a fake pick-off move to third, caught Broad in a pickle near second. But the Gators fired home instead of tagging Broad, nailing Fieger with a tag from catcher Taylor Gushue in a rare 1-6-3-2 pick-off. A groundout from freshman shortstop Brandon Lopez would end the the half-inning.
Florida’s four-run third guided the hosts to a commanding 5-1 early advantage. Another errant pick-off attempt plated Florida’s second run, while a sacrifice fly from Gushue, an RBI single from Ramjit and an RBI triple from Harrison Bader saw Miami facing its biggest deficit of the series. In his shortest start of the season, Suarez was pulled after 2.2 innings of work, charged with all five runs. Senior Eric Whaley would allow another in his 1.1-inning relief stint, as Miami fell behind 6-1.
The Hurricanes looked to have something building in the top of the fifth, when a single from Lopez and a walk from Garrett Kennedy gave Miami two runners on base. An RBI single from Alex Hernandez, who successfully reached base for the 12th consecutive game, cut the deficit to 6-2. Mack was then hit by a pitch from reliever Jay Carmichael to load the bases for freshman David Thompson.
With two outs in the inning, the Miami, Fla., native looped a ball into the right side of the infield that forced a tough play from Gators’ second baseman Casey Turgeon. The sophomore underhanded the ball to Ramjit, as Thompson slid in but was called out on an extremely close play at first to end the inning.
Righthander Alex Fernandez did well in relief, continuing his personal scoreless streak to six innings to open his sophomore campaign. The Hurricanes were unable to generate much offense after the fifth, as Carmichael and Ryan Harris shut Miami out for most of the final stretch. Sophomore Garrett Kennedy connected on his first career homerun in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough, as Miami fell by the final margin of 6-3.
The Hurricanes return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field for a pair of midweek games: Maine on Tue., March 5 (6 p.m.) and Wed., UCF on March 6 (6 p.m.)