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Saturday February 28, 2009No. 10 Miami Nips No. 12 Baseball, 2-1

Gainesville, Fla.

Miami junior right-hander David Gutierrez (1-0) held No. 12 Florida (5-2) scoreless for seven innings and junior Kyle Bellamy recorded the final two outs with the tying run on third base as the 12th-ranked Hurricanes (5-1) clinched their weekend series with a 2-1 victory over Florida before a crowd of 4,570 spectators at McKethan Stadium on Saturday.


With the Gators trailing 2-0 entering the final frame, sophomore Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) drew a walk on four pitches from the All-American closer and freshman pinch hitter Tyler Thompson’s (Tequesta, Fla.) grounder was misplayed by UM junior Scott Lawson at second base, leaving runners on the corners. Freshman Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) plated Cooper with an RBI grounder to cut the deficit to 2-1 and senior Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) followed with a single into right field for men on first and third again. Bellamy jammed Mooney on an infield fly and then struck out sophomore Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.) to secure his third save of the year and second of the weekend. UF stranded a season-high 11 runners in dropping its second consecutive series to the Hurricanes.


"It's frustrating,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We reached for too many pitches today, fell behind in too many counts and didn't stay in our stances. We didn't put as many good swings on balls as we could have and gave them too many easy outs.


“You have to tip your cap to David Gutierrez since he made pitches when he needed to. We had opportunities to score but didn't execute. When you give up two runs, you expect to win - that's the bottom line. Though we played sound defensively, it's just one of those days when we're going to look back at the opportunities we had. We just didn't have good at bats when we needed to."


The Gators collected two hits in the first against Gutierrez but could not push anything across. Junior Mike Mooney (Loxahatchee, Fla.) (2-for-5) and Adams (2-for-5) had back-to-back singles for runners on the corners and one down. However, the righty retired junior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.).


The Hurricanes’ bid to open the scoring against freshman Alex Panteliodis (Tampa, Fla.) (1-1) in the second was denied when freshman Harold Martinez was thrown out trying to get back to third base on junior Jason Hagerty’s two-out double. The two-bagger went into left center and as Martinez was rounding third, the relay from den Dekker came quicker than expected and the runner was thrown out on a perfect strike from Mooney to Adams.


In the bottom of the frame, freshman Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) led off with a single and Cooper walked before Weitzel’s grounder pushed his teammates into scoring position with two down. Gutierrez worked out of trouble by having Barnes tap out to first.  


Miami opened the scoring in the third on an RBI grounder by junior Ryan Jackson (2-for-4, 2 RBI). Senior Jonathan Weislow started things off with a single into left and freshman Nathan Melendres beat out a bunt before Lawson laid down a sac bunt. Weislow came across with the initial run on a ground ball to shortstop.


The visitors expanded their lead to 2-0 in the fifth on a single by Jackson. Weislow earned a leadoff walk and Lawson singled into right center with one down before Jackson collected his second RBI of the contest with a base-hit into right field. With runners on the corners, Panteliodis had sophomore Yasmani Grandal ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.


Despite putting two runners aboard with none out, Florida was held in check by Gutierrez in the fifth. Things started positively when Barnes walked on four-straight pitches and Mooney followed with his second single. After Adams popped up in foul territory, the Hurricane hurler had den Dekker hit into a 4-6-3 double play.   


Pantelidois went 5.2 innings, scattering eight hits and giving up two runs. Junior Billy Bullock (Balm, Fla.) entered the game in the sixth with a runner on third and two down and had Weislow fly out to Mooney to keep the Gators down by a pair. Bullock permitted one hit over a season-high 3.1 innings and has not surrendered a run in four appearances this year.  


Gutierrez departed after seven full innings in which he allowed six singles, with three walks and one strikeout. In the eighth, den Dekker and McArthur had consecutive one-out singles off junior Taylor Wulf. The southpaw worked out of the jam by having Tucker ground into a 5-4-3 double play.


Florida and Miami had nine hits apiece, with only one going for extra bases. The Gators will send freshman left-hander Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.) (0-0, 0.00) to the mound at noon tomorrow against UM sophomore left-hander Iden Nazario (1-0, 4.50). The game will be televised live on Sun Sports.


Game Notes

·         Riley Cooper’s career-high nine-game hit streak came to an end today with an 0-for-2 performance, but drew a career-high two walks. The right fielder has also crossed the plate in all seven games this year.

·         Dating back to May 10, 2008 versus Alabama, the Gators have recorded 17-straight games with eight hits or more.

·         Florida has used a different lineup in all seven games this year.

·         Today marked the first time since May 6 (7-5 in 10 innings to Alabama) and May 8, 2007 (15-8 to North Florida), where the Gators lost back-to-back home games.

·         With Josh Adams’ single in the first, the sophomore established a career high with a hit in seven-straight games.

·         Freshman Preston Tucker has recorded a hit in six of his first seven collegiate games.

·         Brandon McArthur extended his streak of reaching base safely to 12 games dating back to last year.

·         Jerico Weitzel recorded the first RBI of his career when he knocked in Riley Cooper in the ninth.

·         The one run scored by the Orange and Blue was the lowest total by the Gators since a 2-1 loss to Arkansas on April 11, 2007.




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