No. 8 Baseball Falls 4-3 in Heartbreaker
|W – T. Lewis (1-0)||1.2||0||0||0||0||0|
|L – M. Mediavilla (0-1)||1.2||2||1||1||0||3|
|UM – Thompson||4||1||2||1||0||0|
|UF – Reed||5||1||3||1||0||0|
|PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|David Thompson | Jr. | 3B
Thompson delivered another strong performance against Florida, finishing 2-for-4 with one run scored and an RBI single. He now leads the team with nine runs and seven RBI, and is hitting .333 through six games.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 8 Miami dropped a heartbreaker to No. 6 Florida in its series opener at McKethan Stadium Friday night, falling in walk-off fashion on a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Freshman lefthander Michael Mediavilla (0-1) pitched well in his 1.2-inning stint, striking out a career-high three batters. But Gators’ centerfielder Buddy Reed flared a single into shallow left that scored Josh Tobias from second base, as Florida captured the opener in front of 3,661 fans.
A highly anticipated pitching matchup between Miami’s ace lefthander Andrew Suarez and Florida’s talented righthander Logan Shore lasted just 10 pitches. Suarez was scratched during his pregame bullpen after suffering a potential oblique strain, while Shore made it through just two batters before being removed with an undisclosed injury.
Redshirt junior righthander Ryan Otero started for the Hurricanes (4-2), and matched a career-long with 3.0 innings pitched. Senior lefthander Bobby Poyner entered for the Gators in relief of Shore, and allowed four hits – all singles – with seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings
Though it wasn’t the pitchers’ duel either team was anticipating, both squads struggled to develop any offense in the early going.
The first two batters of the game reached for the visitors, as freshman Carl Chester extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games and Ricky Eusebio drew a walk. But Poyner set down the heart of Miami’s order to eliminate the early threat.
Making his first career start on short notice, Otero was effective for the visitors and kept Florida largely off the basepaths. But after Otero allowed the first two runners of the fourth inning to reach base, head coach Jim Morris called on freshman righthander Jesse Lepore in relief. The Beverly Hills, Fla., native balked in Richie Martin from third base to open the scoring, but limited the damage by allowing just one run and recording three flyouts.
The Hurricanes finally chased Poyner in the sixth, as junior Ricky Eusebio laced a leadoff single through the leftside and sophomore Willie Abreu cracked a one-out double over the head of rightfielder Ryan Larson and off the wall.
Gators reliever Mike Vinson entered the game in a jam, and his first pitch to David Thompson made its way past catcher Mike Rivera to plate the speedy Eusebio, moving Abreu to third and tying the game 1-1. Thompson followed with an RBI single through the leftside, as Abreu scored easily and Miami captured its first lead of the night at 2-1.
Junior George Iskenderian, who extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games earlier in the night, advanced Thompson to third on a groundout, and with the lefthanded Garrett Kennedy on deck, Florida opted for another pitching change. But lefty Kirby Snead’s first pitch to pinch hitter Edgar Michelangeli went way wide of Rivera’s glove, as Miami bumped its lead to 3-1 on the wild throw.
Florida (5-0) would immediately respond, as a two-out, two-RBI single from Rivera off reliever Cooper Hammond tied the game 3-3 in the bottom half of the sixth.
Miami threatened in the eighth, when Zack Collins connected on a single through the leftside and Abreu followed it up with a booming double to right-center. A perfect defensive relay saw Collins out at home plate, however, and Taylor Lewis retired Miami 1-2-3 in the top half of the ninth.
The Hurricanes will return to McKethan Stadium for game two of their series on Saturday. First pitch for the game, slated for broadcast on SEC Network, is set for 7:30 p.m.