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Saturday February 22, 2014No. 17 Miami Clinches Series With 5-2 Win over No. 20 Florida Baseball Saturday

Coral Gables, Fla.

A three-run Miami home run in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie between the No. 20 Gators and No. 17 Hurricanes, giving Miami (4-2) a series-clinching win over Florida (4-3) Saturday in Coral Gables in front of a crowd of 4,076 at Alex Rodriguez Park.

 

After the second game of the series started with two scoreless frames for the Gators and Hurricanes, Miami put up one run each in the third and fourth innings, while Florida countered with one each in the fifth and sixth – the first on a freshman Ryan Larson (Orlando, Fla.) sacrifice fly in the fifth, while junior Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-3, one RBI) knotted the game at 2-2 with a RBI single in the top of the sixth.

 

A three-run homer from Miami freshman designated hitter Zack Collins (1-for-3, three RBI, one run) in the bottom of the sixth gave the Hurricanes a 5-2 edge and the eventual series clinching victory – Miami’s first series win over Florida since 2009.

 

Freshman righty Brett Morales (Tampa, Fla.) earned the start in game two of the series for Florida, worked a scoreless first two innings and went a career-best 4.0 innings with two Ks. Morales retired six of the eight batters he faced in the first two stanzas, giving up a double to the Hurricanes’ left fielder Tyler Palmer (2-for-4, one RBI) in the first and issuing a walk to Zack Collins in the second, while Miami lefty Bryan Radziewski sat the Gators down in order in the first and third innings.

 

Morales gave up a leadoff walk to nine-hole hitter Johnny Ruiz in the bottom of the third inning to set up Miami’s first score. With one down in the frame, Palmer plated Ruiz with a single through the left side for the 1-0 Hurricanes lead. Palmer proceeded to swipe second and third, but Morales popped David Thompson up before junior third baseman Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) snagged a Brad Fieger laser through the left side with a diving stop in the dirt to save a Canes’ run and retire the side.

 

Sophomore Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) and junior Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) bunted for infield singles to get the rally going for the Gators in the top of the fourth and a one-out Peter Alonso (Tampa, Fla.) groundout moved the duo into scoring position, but Martin was picked off at third to prevent the Orange and Blue from capitalizing.

 

A Garret Kennedy solo homer to right field tacked on a second run for Miami in the bottom of the fourth as the Canes extended the score, 2-0.

 

Junior Braden Mattson (San Antonio, Texas) (1-for-2, one run, two walks) roped a leadoff double to the left-center wall in the fifth to give the Gators a spark and Shafer gave the Gators runners on the corners after a base hit to center before advancing to second on a Tobias ground out. Larson then sent UF’s first run across the dish with a sac fly for a 2-1 ballgame heading to the bottom of the fifth.

 

A Taylor Gushue (Boca Raton, Fla.) (1-for-4, one run) two-out single to left field started a two-out rally for the Gators in the top of the sixth, as both Alonso and Mattson drew consecutive walks for ducks on the pond to set up Shafer’s game-tying RBI single to left field, but a pinch hit lineout had the game tied at 2-2 heading to the bottom of the inning.

 

Thompson struck again for Miami with a leadoff double down the left field line and Willie Abreu milked Gators’ right-hander Eric Hanhold (Palm Harbor, Fla.) for a one-out walk to set up Collins’ first-pitch three-run homer off of sophomore lefty Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) for the 5-2 Miami lead after six innings.

 

Florida turned to the bullpen through the final two innings, using four arms down the stretch in sophomore Jay Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.) and freshmen Frank Rubio (Miami Shores, Fla.) (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB), Tyler Deel (Jacksonville, Fla.) (0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) and Dane Dunning (Fleming Island, Fla.).

 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan

Opening statement

“I thought we fought to the last out. Obviously, the three-run homer was a huge momentum swing for Miami, but I thought we fought to the end tonight. You have to give [UM’s Zack] Collins credit tonight. He put a good swing on the ball. Frank [Rubio] came out there with a 2-0 count and a runner on first and I thought he did a really nice job getting out of that inning. Tyler Deel came in with runners on and I thought he did a nice job, too. Both freshmen threw the ball really well. We just need to get deeper into the ballgame with our starters.”

 

Junior Justin Shafer

On Miami’s starting pitcher Brad Radziewski

“He threw the ball well. Obviously, we wanted to get him out earlier, but we let him get too deep into the game. He threw well and you have to tip your cap to him.”

 

On Florida’s offensive performance

“We just have to do better when we have runners on base. We had runners on first and second with no outs and we didn’t get a run out of it. We just have to do a better job of scoring runs.”

 

Seeing Double

·         Junior Braden Mattson ripped his second double of the season – and of the series with Miami – to lead off the top of the fifth for the Gators. Mattson’s two two-baggers tie for second on the Gators’ squad.

·         Freshman Ryan Larson plated Florida’s first run of the contest Saturday in the top of the fifth – his second career RBI – with a sacrifice fly to score Mattson from third.

·         Junior Justin Shafer was 2-for-3 at the plate Saturday, plating the game-tying run in the sixth with his second hit of the clash.

 

Gushue Guns One Down

·         Junior Taylor Gushue gunned down his first runner on the base path this season when he connected with junior Casey Turgeon to catch Dale Carey attempting to swipe second in the bottom of the fifth.

 

Saturday Streaks

·         Gushue and freshman Richie Martin both extended their season hit streaks to seven-straight games Saturday.

·         Mattson also extended his season hit streak to six, while Shafer made it five-consecutive games with a hit for the Orange and Blue.

 

From the Mound

·         Freshman RHP Brett Morales earned his second start this season and fanned Miami’s Brad Fieger for the final out of the first inning, his first K as a Gator.

·         Morales worked a scoreless first two frames and went a career-best 4.0 innings, finishing the game with a season-best two strikeouts before sophomore RHP Eric Hanhold came on in relief in the fifth inning

·         Sophomore RHP Jay Carmichael made his first appearance of the season in the bottom of the seventh and freshman RHP Frank Rubio made his first appearance as a Gator in relief of Carmichael.

·         First year LHP Tyler Deel made his Gator debut in the bottom of the eighth and fanned the first batter of his career for the first out of the inning. Deel retired both batters he faced, one by strikeout and the other with a fly out to left field.

 

Up Next

The No. 20 Gators will look to stave off a Hurricane sweep in the series finale with No. 17 Miami (FL) (4-2) Sunday, with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. from Alex Rodriguez Park. All three games of the series will be carried on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.

 

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Live stats for each game are available on GatorZone.com and fans can also receive updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.

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