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Sunday March 1, 2009No. 10 Miami Powers Past No. 12 Baseball

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 10 Miami (6-1) used a seven-run fourth inning and a season-high 20-hit offensive barrage to complete a weekend sweep of No. 12 Florida (5-3) with a 16-2 victory on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Iden Nazario (2-0) held the Gators scoreless until the sixth inning and allowed just two hits to earn the win. Todayís crowd of 3,038 fans pushed the series total to 12,322, the third-highest for a three-game series at McKethan Stadium. The Hurricanes had not captured all of the regular-season meetings between the Sunshine State rivals since 2001.

 

Although UM put two runners aboard against freshman Nick Maronde (Lexington, Ky.) (0-1) in the top of the first, it could not break the ice. Freshman Nathan Melendres (2-for-5, 3 RBI) led off the game with a single up the middle and junior Ryan Jackson was hit by a pitch with one down. The left-hander picked off Melendres at second base and had junior Jason Hagerty fly out to the warning track in center field.†

 

The Hurricanes nearly opened the scoring on sophomore Yasmani Grandalís (3-for-5, 2 RBI) single to left field in the second, but Grandal was thrown out on a relay from senior left fielder Avery Barnes (High Springs, Fla.) to junior shortstop Mike Mooney (Loxahatchee, Fla.) to freshman second baseman Jerico Weitzel (Ridgway, Pa.) before junior Chris Herrmann (3-for-4, 3 RBI, 3 R) crossed the plate. †

 

UM sent a dozen batters to the plate and seized a 7-0 lead in the fourth, which began with freshman Harold Martinezís first career homer over the wall in left field. Senior Dave DiNatale (4-for-6, 3 RBI, 3 R) followed with a base-hit and Herrmann was plunked before Maronde committed a balk to put the runners in scoring position. Grandalís grounder to second scored DiNatale and senior Jonathan Weislow earned a free pass for runners on the corners before Melendresí grounder brought across Herrmann. Junior Scott Lawson (3-for-7) poked an RBI single into left field for a four-run cushion and a dropped pop-up extended the inning. Soon after, Hagerty walked to load the bases, ending the afternoon for Maronde (3.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 2 K). Freshman reliever Justin Poovey (Granite Falls, N.C.) walked Martinez to score Lawson and DiNatale roped a two-run single for a 7-0 advantage.

 

A fielderís choice by Melendres in the fifth resulted in an 8-0 margin for Miami. Grandal singled through the right side of the infield and then moved around the bases courtesy of a passed ball and a wild pitch. Weislow drew a walk and Melendresí comebacker to the mound scored his teammate.

 

The Hurricanes added four more runs on five hits in the sixth. Herrmann connected on his first homer with DiNatale on base for a 10-0 lead. Poovey (1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R) was lifted after Grandalís third hit of the afternoon and was replaced by junior Tony Davis (Cooper City, Fla.) (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 R). Weislow greeted the reliever with a single to left, Melendres poked an infield RBI single and the combination of a wild pitch and throwing error enabled Weislow to score.

 

The Gators pushed across two runs in the bottom of the frame after loading the bases with three-straight walks to Mooney, junior Matt den Dekker (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and sophomore Josh Adams (Jacksonville, Fla.). Freshman Travis Miller took over on the mound for Nazario (5.0 IP, 7 K, 5 BB) and senior Brandon McArthur (Seffner, Fla.) connected on a single to right center to put UF on the board. Freshman Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) then lofted a sac fly to score den Dekker. Miller worked three innings and gave up two hits.

 

Miami tacked on another run against junior Chas Spottswood (Balm, Fla.) (2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R) in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by senior pinch hitter Ryan Perry to build a 13-2 lead. The visitors tallied four hits in a row during the eighth, featuring RBI hits by DiNatale and Herrmann, and added a sac fly by Grandal to finalize the 16-2 count.†

 

The Gators will make their first road trip of the season by traveling to Stetson (2-5) on Tuesday night for a 6:30 p.m. game at Melching Field at Conrad Park.

†† ††††††

Game Notes

         Florida suffered its first weekend sweep at home since dropping three to Georgia from April 28-30, 2006 (7-0, 9-3, 9-6).

         The Gators had not been swept in a weekend series since April 27-29, 2007, at Vanderbilt (10-1, 17-6, 13-5).

         Freshman Daniel Pigott made his first career start as the designated hitter and was 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly.

         Sophomore Riley Cooper has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.

         UF has used a different lineup in all eight games.

         The Hurricanes have taken the last two series between the Sunshine State rivals and won a series in Gainesville for the first time since 1991. †

         This afternoon marked Floridaís worst setback at McKethan Stadium since a 16-2 loss to Vanderbilt on April 2, 2006.

 

-UF-

 

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