Sunday March 3, 2013Florida Baseball Takes Series Over No. 21 Miami, 6-3
Justin Shafer went 7-for-12 (.583) over the weekend vs. Miami.
Florida (5-7) used a four-run third inning and solid pitching to collect a 6-3 victory in the decisive third game of its weekend series against No. 21 Miami (10-2) on Sunday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. The Gators have taken the last four regular-season series against the Hurricanes: 2010 (2-1), 2011 (3-0), 2012 (3-0) and 2013 (2-1). In addition, Kevin O’Sullivan improved to 17-7 in his tenure versus UM after two-straight triumphs to claim the series and UF has now collected 13 wins in the past 14 meetings between the Sunshine State rivals.
Sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) went 3-for-4 this afternoon and finished 7-for-12 (.583) in the series, while freshman right-hander Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) (1-1) picked up his first collegiate win with two scoreless innings in relief of freshman starter Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.). Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) was 2-for-4 with his first collegiate RBI.
“These Sunday games are tough – it was a deciding game,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “For us, it was the difference between two games in the standings: we could have gone down to four games under .500 or two under .500. It was a big game for us, it’s a rivalry weekend and I was awfully proud at the way we bounced back today and this weekend in general after a tough Friday-night loss.”
“We scored four in the eighth last night and battled back, and then today we jumped out there early and put some good swings on the ball, but we do have some things to work on. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t put any runs on the board after the fourth inning, but those things can be corrected. I want them to enjoy the win. It’s been a tough go the first part of this season, but when you get the chance to win a series against a really good team, a rival, you have to feel good about things.”
“These are two great wins,” Shafer said. “To take the series against a great Miami team, they hadn’t lost all year - that’s big for us. Just like losing is contagious, so is winning. Hopefully, we keep it rolling; we’ve got five games this next week. We feel pretty good but we still have a lot to work on; we’re going to keep getting better.”
Senior Chantz Mack opened the scoring for the Hurricanes in the first inning with an RBI grounder off Hanhold. Freshman Ricky Eusebio (2-for-5) began the game with a single into right field and stole second before taking third on a fly out by junior Alex Hernandez. Mack’s grounder to second base broke the ice.
Helped by a two-out error, the Gators notched the equalizer in the bottom of the frame against sophomore Andrew Suarez (1-1). Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) (1-for-3, two runs) singled with one down and Shafer raised his hitting streak to 10 games with a double into left center field. Suarez struck out redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) but then had an errant throw to second base trying to pick Shafer off, enabling Turgeon to come home with the tying run. Shafer advanced to third on a passed ball and Suarez had senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) ground out to first base to keep the game tied.
Miami had runners on the corners with one down in the second inning but was unable to score. Junior Brad Fieger drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a grounder by senior Alex San Juan and went to third on a wild pitch by Hanhold. After senior Michael Broad was hit by a pitch, the Gators threw out Fieger at the plate on a 1-6-3-2 putout and had freshman Brandon Lopez ground out.
Following a perfect third inning by Hanhold, the Gators exploded for four runs on three hits to build a 5-1 advantage. Freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff double and has now reached base in all 12 games this year. Turgeon earned a free pass for two runners aboard and a one-out throwing error by Suarez allowed Martin to score the go-ahead run from second base. After Powers walked for runners on first and third, sophomore Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) delivered a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field to bring home Turgeon with the Gators’ third run. Ramjit came through with a two-out RBI single to score Powers and Bader tallied his first career RBI with his first triple to drive in Ramjit and end the afternoon for Suarez (2.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R) in favor of senior Eric Whaley.
The Gators increased their lead to 6-1 in the fourth on a two-out RBI double by Shafer. Reid led off with his first career double to right field and was sacrificed to third on a bunt by senior pinch hitter Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.). Shafer came through with a two-bagger to center field and advanced to third on an error by Eusebio.
After a one-out single by Lopez and a walk to sophomore Garrett Kennedy in the fifth, Hanhold (4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R) was replaced by Carmichael. The rookie struck out Eusebio and then Hernandez singled into center field to score Lopez for a 6-2 count. Mack was plunked to load the bases with two down and freshman David Thompson was called out at close play at first base to complete the frame.
In the seventh, Kennedy walked with one down and sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) was summoned from the bullpen for Carmichael (2.0 IP, 1 H). After Eusebio singled through the left side, Harris had Hernandez ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.
Kennedy finalized the scoring in the ninth at 6-3 with a two-out solo homer off of sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.). UF had a 9-6 advantage in hits and did not commit any errors this afternoon.
The Gators begin a home-and-home series with Jacksonville (4-7) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium and will host the Dolphins at McKethan Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.
· The Gators have claimed two series against ACC teams this season by identical 2-1 margins (Duke, Miami).
· With the win, Florida won its fifth game of the season.
· The Gators have won 13 of the last 14 meetings with the Hurricanes.
· It is the fourth-straight regular-season series win for Florida over Miami.
· Sophomore Justin Shafer extended his career-long hitting streak to 10 games Sunday after knocking a double in his first at-bat of the day.
· Shafer continued his career-tear against Miami, as he went 3-for-4 Sunday with two doubles, giving him nine hits in 16 plate appearances (.563) against the Hurricanes.
· Shafer went 7-for-12 (.583) this weekend at the plate against Miami.
· In the series with Miami, Shafer notched two three-hit games.
· Shafer's two doubles in the game matches a season and a career-high. Shafer last had two doubles in a game against Duke on Feb. 15.
· After recording two hits on Sunday, Shafer now has five multi-hit games this season and 16 for his career.
· Freshman Richie Martin pushed his hitting streak to 10 games Sunday after knocking his first collegiate double in the third inning.
· With his double in the third, Martin has reached base safely in all 12 of the Gators' games this year.
· Senior Vickash Ramjit tallied his first double of the year in the third inning to score Zack Powers. It was part of a four-run third for the Gators.
· Freshman Harrison Bader had his first career RBI and first career triple all in one at-bat on Sunday, slicing a two-out hit down the right field line to score Ramjit from second in the third inning.
· The four runs scored in the third inning by the Gators was the first time this year that UF had scored any runs in the third frame.
· Freshman starting pitcher Eric Hanhold threw a new season-high 4.0 innings Sunday against the Hurricanes.
· Hanhold also walked a season-high four batters in the game.
· Redshirt freshman Cory Reid hit his first career double in the bottom of the fourth inning.
· Final line for Hanhold: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
· Bader's two hits (single and triple) resulted in his second two-hit game of the season.
· Six of Florida's nine hits Sunday afternoon were for extra bases.
· Shafer stole third base in the seventh inning for his second stolen base of the season. It was the first stolen base of the weekend for UF.
· Freshman Jay Carmichael (1-1) won the first game of his collegiate career on Sunday.
· Carmichael only gave up one hit in his appearance for the fourth time this season.