Gators win series over 'Canes
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 4:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 7:44 p.m.
A leadoff double by freshman Richie Martin ignited a four-run third inning for Florida that broke a 1-all tie and relievers Jay Carmichael, Ryan Harris and Johnny Magliozzi did the rest as the Gators took the series from the Hurricanes with a 6-3 win before a McKethan Stadium crowd of 3,786 Sunday.
Florida at Jacksonville, 6 p.m.
Jacksonville at Florida, 7 p.m.
UF (5-7), which had lost six in a row after dropping Friday night's series opener, won back-to-back games for the first time since opening weekend to claim its fourth straight series win over Miami.
The win was also the 13th in the last 14 meetings with Miami for the Gators, dropping the 'Canes, who had won their first 10 games in a row for their best start since 1981, to 10-2.
“Just like losing is contagious, so is winning.” said sophomore left fielder Justin Shafer, who went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles to pace the UF attack.
“Those are two great wins to take a series from a great Miami team. They hadn't lost all year, so that's big for us.”
Freshman center fielder Harrison Bader went 2-for-4 and also had his first career extra-base hit, a two-out, RBI triple that capped UF's four-run third.
“Our pitching did a great job, and the hitters came through in big situations,” Bader said.
Martin's third-inning double extended his team-high hitting streak to 10 games and was the first extra-base hit of his career.
He was taken out of the game, however, in the fourth and was replaced by senior Cody Dent after being hit on the hand by a pitch while attempting to bunt after fellow freshman Cory Reid led off the inning with a double, his first career extra-base hit.
Reid eventually scored on Shafer's two-out, RBI double to extend the lead to 6-1.
Freshman starter Eric Hanhold went 4 1/3 innings, scattering three hits and allowing two runs, both earned, before giving way to Carmichael (1-1), who earned his first career win.
Miami starter Andrew Suarez (1-1) took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits in just 2 2/3 innings of work and accounting for a pair of costly errors.
After Miami staked Suarez to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, sophomore Casey Turgeon lined a one-out single in the bottom of the inning, and Shafer followed with a double to left-center.
Miami shortstop Brandon Lopez snuck in behind Shafer and had him picked off second base moments later, but Suarez's throw was low and away and hit the diving Shafer, caroming into short right-center and allowing Turgeon to score from third and tie the score.
After Martin's lead-off double in the third, Suarez walked Turgeon, whom he attempted to pick off of first. Again the lefty threw wildly, this time allowing Martin to score from second with the go-ahead run while Turgeon raced all the way to third.
After a walk to Zack Powers, UF scored three more times in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Taylor Gushue, an RBI single by Vickash Ramjit and Bader's RBI triple to take a 5-1 lead.
Shafer made it 6-1 in the fourth with his second double, this one a two-out, RBI shot to right-center, but Miami answered with a run in the fifth on Alex Hernandez's two-out, RBI single.
The 'Canes later brought the tying run to the plate with the bases loaded in the form of cleanup batter David Thompson, but Carmichael got him to hit a short pop toward Turgeon at second. Although he could not get to the ball until it hit the ground, Turgeon scooped it up and flipped it to Ramjit at first to get Thompson, who at the last moment decided to slide feet-first into the base, on a bang-bang play that ended the inning and drew a stern protest from Miami head coach Jim Morris, but to no avail.
Miami did add a final run in the ninth on a two-out solo home run by Garrett Kennedy, but it was too little, too late.
“We needed a weekend like this,” UF head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “We knew it wasn't going to be easy. Miami's got a good team. They always do.”
UF faces Jacksonville in back-to-back games Tuesday at JU at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at McKethan Stadium at 7 p.m. before hosting Indiana for a three-game series Friday through Sunday.
“We've got five games this week, so hopefully we can keep it rolling,” Shafer said.