Florida baseball: No. 14 Gators drop first game of weekend to No. 22 Miami
In front of a sold-out crowd at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables, No. 14 Florida's attempt at a late-inning comeback came up short as No. 22 Miami took game one of the series by a score of 5-2.
The Gators (8-3) and Hurricanes (8-1) found themselves in a pitchers' duel in the early going Friday night, as starting pitchers Hunter Barco and Carson Palmquist exchanged scoreless frames through the third inning. Miami got to Barco in the fourth, when Yohandy Morales hit a two-run shot over the left field wall to put the Canes up, 2-0.
Miami added two more runs in the sixth. After singling and advancing to second on a sac bunt, Dominic Pitelli was running on an 0-2 pitch and came around to score on a groundout by CJ Klayfus. Morales then drove in Jacob Burke with a double down the left field line.
Florida attempted a late comeback powered by Sterlin Thompson and Wyatt Langford in the seventh inning after the Canes took a four-run lead, but Miami closer Andrew Walters provided 2.1 scoreless innings to shut the door.
Game 2 was Saturday night. Game 3 is at noon Sunday.
The No. 4 Gators bounced back after a loss Wednesday with a pair of victories over Georgia State, 3-1, and Coastal Carolina, 8-1, on the opening day of the Bubly Invitational at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Friday.
The Gators (18-1) came out on top in the pitcher's duel with the Panthers (6-9) as Marissa Mesiemore (2-0) picked up the win in 3.0 innings of relief and striking out three. Starter Elizabeth Hightower got the start surrendering only one hit on one run striking out four through 4.0 innings.
In the second game against Coastal Carolina (8-7), Lexie Delbrey (6-1) tossed 6.0 innings in the circle striking out eight and relinquished just one run on two hits. Rylee Trlicek shutdown the seventh striking out two of the three batters she faced.
Kendra Falby improved her hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI double to left field extending the Gator lead to 5-1.