Miami Falls to No. 1 Florida, 7-3
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 24 Miami got off to a dream start but could not hold on against No. 1 Florida Friday night, falling in the rivalry series opener, 7-3, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
The Hurricanes tagged Gators ace and projected first-round MLB Draft pick Brady Singer for three runs on five hits in the first inning to take the early lead.
But Florida (6-0) clawed back, getting two runs in the second and two more in the fourth before padding to a slim lead in the seventh in front of 3,596 fans.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We jumped up 3-0, which I thought was huge, then we let them back in the game.”
Senior lefthander Jeb Bargfeldt (1-1) picked up the loss after allowing five runs in six innings. He surrendered nine hits, struck out three and walked one.
“Definitely not what I’m looking for,” Bargfeldt said of his performance. “I didn’t feel like I helped my team tonight.”
Singer (2-0) did not allow a run after the first. He fanned four and allowed nine hits in five innings.
Miami’s hot start was charged by an unlikely catalyst.
After a leadoff double from senior Michael Burns dropped in right-center, senior third baseman Michael Perez – making his first start in the field this season – smashed an 0-2 pitch from Singer well over the fence in left for the first home run of his career.
Perez was mobbed by his teammates at home plate to celebrate his first career homer.
“Emotions are high when you’re playing a team in-state,” Perez said. “You have a lot of pride and there’s a lot of history. You’re trying to make things happen. There’s a lot of emotion.”
Miami (2-3) wasn’t done there.
Perez, who tripled in his first start of the season Wednesday against Mizzou, finished the night 2-for-4.
Burns and Amditis both extended their season-opening hitting streaks to five straight games.
Trailing early, the Gators got a pair back on a two-run home run from Nick Horvath in the second inning.
A two-RBI double from Horvath two innings later gave the visitors their first lead at 4-3, and a solo home run from JJ Schwarz made it 5-3 in the fifth.
“I started missing in, and that’s really the only place they hurt me – when I missed in,” Bargfeldt said. “If you hit the ball in the air to left field tonight, it was going to go [out].”
Freshman Daniel Federman allowed the first two runs of his Miami career when Blake Reese connected on a two-RBI single in the seventh to push the Gators lead to 7-3.
Reyes (2-for-4), Burns (2-for-5) and Perez all finished with multi-hit performances.
The two teams return to Mark Light Field Saturday for Game 2 of the three-game set. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 7 p.m.