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Friday February 27, 2009No. 10 UM Takes Opener Over No. 12 Baseball, 8-5

Gainesville, Fla.

In front of 4,714 fans at McKethan Stadium, No. 10 Miami (4-1) used a pair of home runs and a career-high five RBI by senior Jonathan Weislow to hand No. 12 Florida (5-1) an 8-5 defeat on Friday night in the opener of a weekend series. Weislow (2-for-4) cranked a game-tying two-run dinger in the fourth off Gator senior Patrick Keating (Harrisburg, Ill.) (1-1) and moved the Hurricanes ahead with a three-run blast in the sixth. Tonight’s game marked the first two round-trippers of his career.

 

UM sophomore Chris Hernandez (2-0) collected the win to improve to 13-0 in his collegiate career. The All-American lefty gave up six hits and four runs over five innings and registered five strikeouts. The loss ended a 12-game winning streak at home for Florida dating back to a 7-4 setback to No. 5 Georgia on April 25 of last year.

 

"I thought we did a nice job offensively and we worked a few counts,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We got (Chris) Hernandez’s pitch count to around 100 pitches through five innings. We did what we needed to do, we got a lead. The problem is that every time we scored runs, we gave them up the following inning. We didn't play good defense and we didn't score enough runs. "

 

The Hurricanes loaded the bases in the second inning but came away empty-handed. Junior Chris Herrmann and freshman Harold Martinez opened the frame with back-to-back singles and were sacrificed into scoring position by junior Ryan Jackson (2-for-4). Keating caught senior Dave DiNatale (2-for-5) looking on strikes before yielding a walk to junior Jason Hagerty to fill the sacks. The right-hander worked out of the jam by having Weislow ground out to sophomore third baseman Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.).

 

Florida erupted for three runs in the bottom of the frame against Hernandez, courtesy of a sacrifice fly by junior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and consecutive two-out hits from Adams and senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) (2-for-4). Sophomore Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) raised his hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single and junior Mike Mooney (Loxahatchee, Fla.) reached on a fielder’s choice to give the Gators two runners aboard. Senior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) executed UF’s first sacrifice bunt of the season to advance his teammates and den Dekker followed with sac fly into left to score Cooper. Adams bashed a ground-rule double to straightaway center field to drive in Mooney and McArthur poked a base-knock into left center to bring in Adams for a 3-0 lead.   

 

Miami answered with three unearned runs in the top of the fourth, including a game-tying two-run homer by Weislow. Adams misplayed Martinez’s ground ball to begin the inning and the runner stole second. A one-out single up the middle by DiNatale left runners on the corners and Hagerty’s grounder to second base plated Martinez. With two down, Weislow belted a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left field to square the contest.

 

UF regained the lead in the home part of the fifth on a two-out infield single by McArthur. Mooney opened with a single, went to second on a grounder and advanced to third on a wild pitch with two down. McArthur legged out a hit to second base to put the Gators ahead and a throwing error on the play by junior Scott Lawson left two runners in scoring position. Hernandez had junior Clayton Pisani (Naples, Fla.) ground out to hold the margin at 4-3.

 

Weislow connected on his second homer of the night in the sixth to give the Hurricanes a 6-4 advantage. Jackson led off with a single and Hagerty’s hit through the right side of the infield set the table for Weislow, who cranked a three-run shot to left field. Keating departed after surrendering the homer, having allowed eight hits and six runs (three earned), with four strikeouts and a walk. 

 

Junior Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) relieved Keating and worked 1.2 perfect innings with two strikeouts. DiNatale greeted freshman reliever Will Jolin (Guilford, Conn.) in the eighth with an infield hit, took second on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to third by Hagerty. Jolin uncorked another wild pitch to score DiNatale and give the visitors a 7-4 edge. After yielding walks to Weislow and Melendres, a flare into left by Lawson loaded the bases with one down and ended the night for Jolin (0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB). Freshman Greg Larson (Longwood, Fla.) prevented further damage by having sophomore Yasmani Grandal ground into an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.

 

McArthur was plunked by freshman Daniel Miranda (2.2 IP, 1 H) with one out in the bottom of the eighth and scored on freshman Daniel Pigott’s (Ormond Beach, Fla.) two-out, pinch-hit single to narrow the gap to 7-5. UM junior All-American closer Kyle Bellamy was called in from the bullpen and permitted a single into right field by freshman pinch hitter Tyler Thompson (Tequesta, Fla.), the rookie’s first collegiate hit. Cooper earned a free pass on four pitches to fill the sacks with two down and Mooney smacked a hard shot to third base bidding for an infield hit. However, Herrmann’s relay over to first was ruled in time for the final out of the inning to keep Miami ahead by two runs.

 

Jackson provided Miami with an insurance run in the ninth with an RBI double to left field off Larson (1.2 IP, 1 H) that scored Herrmann. Bellamy struck out the final two batters to nail down his second save of the year.

 

The Hurricanes held and 11-8 advantage in hits and were aided by three UF errors. The trio of DiNatale, Jackson and Winslow chipped in with two hits apiece, while McArthur was the lone Gator with multiple hits. Game two on Saturday at 2 p.m. will pit Florida freshman lefty Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (1-0, 3.00) against UM junior right-hander David Gutierrez (0-0, 1.80). In his collegiate debut last weekend, Panteliodis went six innings and earned the win against No. 8 Louisville by scattering five hits and permitting two runs.

         

Game Notes

·         Florida’s eight and nine hitters over the last four games have gone 13-for-33 (.394) with seven RBI, six runs, three stolen bases, a home run and a double.

·         With Josh Adams’ ground-rule RBI double in the third extended his hitting streak to six games to match his career high for the third time.

·         Brandon McArthur extended his streak of reaching base safely to 11 games dating back to last year.

·         The Gators’ four earned runs against Chris Hernandez marked the second-most earned runs that the left-hander has allowed in his career.

·         The crowd of 4,714 was the highest-attended game at McKethan Stadium since March 18, 2008, when a school-record 5,719 fans were on had to watch Florida defeat Florida State by a 6-1 score.

·         Tonight’s loss snapped Florida’s 12-game home winning streak. The streak was the longest since the 2004 squad reeled off 13-straight wins at home from Feb. 22 to March 14, 2004.

·         Tyler Thompson lined the first hit of his career to right with two-down in the eighth.

 

-UF-

 

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