UF allows 3 homers in loss to Miami
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:20 p.m.
CORAL GABLES — Florida pitchers had combined to allow just two homers in five games.
Miami Hurricanes batters, in four games, had hit only one homer.
That all changed Friday night, when two Gators pitchers — both hailing from South Florida — combined to allow three homers in a 6-4 loss to the No. 16 Hurricanes before 3,481 fans.
No. 23 Florida (4-2) wasted a 4-for-4 performance by another South Floridian, catcher Taylor Gushue, who also had an RBI.
In seven career games against Miami, Boca Raton's Gushue is 11 for 22 with two homers and nine RBI.
The two homers came in 2012, the last time Florida played at Miami.
“Something about this park,” Gushue said when asked to explain his success here, ”it makes the ball look like a beachball.”
The three-game series continues Saturday at 7 p.m.. Florida will start right-hander Brett Morales (0-1, 13.50). Miami (3-2) will start lefty Bryan Radziewski (0-1, 0.00).
Florida, which has won 13 of its past 15 games in its series with Miami, scored three times in the first inning, getting RBI from Gushue's single, Braden Mattson's end-of-the-bat, opposite-field double and Justin Shafer's single.
“It seemed like the game hadn't started yet, and we already had three runs,” Gushue said. “I was pumped.”
But Gators starter Bobby Poyner, who beat Maryland in Florida's season opener by pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings, couldn't hold the lead.
He allowed a two-run, two-out double by Alex Hernandez in the second inning. Miami then took a 4-3 lead in the third, scoring on a wild pitch and the first career homer by freshman Willie Abreu. Left fielder Ryan Larson seemed to have room to catch the high drive, but the ball continued to carry and just went over the fence.
Poyner, who is from Wellington, gave up a no-doubt solo homer to Dale Carey in the fifth. And reliever Shaun Anderson, who was also making a homecoming (Coral Springs), gave up a solo blast to Garrett Kennedy in the sixth.
Gushue scored his second run of the night in the eighth, on a groundout by Peter Alonso. But Miami freshman Bryan Garcia, who was throwing 94 mph, picked up a two-inning save, allowing just a single in the ninth.