No. 24 Miami Drops Game Two to #1 Florida 8-2

No. 24 Miami Drops Game Two to #1 Florida 8-2

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 24 Miami dropped the second game of a rivalry series with No. 1 Florida Saturday night, falling to the Gators, 8-2, at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

In a matchup of two talented righthanders, Miami trailed early, tied the game in the middle innings and ultimately fell to the visitors in front of a packed house of 4,156 fans.

Sophomore Greg Veliz (0-1) tossed 5.1 innings for the Hurricanes. The Key West, Fla., native surrendered four runs (one earned), struck out five and walked three.

Florida junior Jackson Kowar (2-0) scattered five hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out two batters and allowed two runs.

The two teams combined for just twelve hits, but three Miami errors hurt the hosts in the defeat. Only three of the eight runs allowed by the Miami pitching staff were earned.

The Gators (7-0) wasted little time in opening the scoring, plating a pair of runs in the game’s first inning despite producing just one hit.

With the bases loaded, Veliz walked a Florida batter and then hit another to force in two runs, spotting the visitors an early 2-0 advantage.

Facing one of the nation’s top MLB Draft prospects in Kowar, Miami (2-4) cut the deficit in half in the third on an RBI single from junior Romy Gonzalez.

Kowar issued walks to freshman Willy Escala and senior Michael Perez before Gonzalez cracked the first pitch he saw from Kowar through the left side to plate Miami’s first run.

The Hurricanes tied the game an inning later when a trio of UM freshmen – Tony Jenkins, Freddy Zamora and Escala – each connected on singles off Kowar to load the bases.

Kowar then plunked senior Michael Burns with a pitch to force in the tying run.

The Gators chased Veliz in the seventh on an RBI triple from Blake Reese, who would score on a passed ball to pad the lead to 4-2.

Florida added two runs of insurance in the eighth, followed by two more in the ninth.

Redshirt freshman Michael Amditis extended his season-opening hitting streak to six straight games.

Miami looks to salvage the series Sunday when the two teams meet in the finale at Mark Light Field. First pitch for Game 3, slated for broadcast on ACC Network Extra, 790 The Ticket, 990 AM ESPN Deportes and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 12 p.m.