Kan Li / Scout

Gators can’t solve Cane’s pitching

Miami starter Michael Mediavilla (2-0) pitched 5 solid innings and gave up just one run as the Hurricanes (5-1) beat Florida (6-1) Saturday night 5-3 to even the weekend series at one game apiece.

Mediavilla kept the Gators at bay allowing only two hits and striking out four in his five innings of play.

Both offenses started out slow going scoreless in the first inning. The Hurricanes struck first in the second inning when shortstop Johnny Ruiz doubled down the left field line scoring Jacob Heyward. On the play the Hurricanes were aggressive and tried to squeeze a second run in, but left fielder Ryan Larson relayed the ball to short stop Dalton Guthrie who then turned and fired home to catcher J.J. Schwarz who tagged out Willie Abreu for the first out.

Florida starter A.J. Puk (0-1) finished off the second inning without any more damage and the Gators struck back in the top of the third. Gator center fielder Buddy Reed hit a one out single and stole second base. Schwarz singled to right field scoring Reed from second. That would be the only Gator run until the 8th inning.

Meanwhile, Miami got back on the board in the bottom of the third. Puk allowed a leadoff double by designated hitter Peter Crocitto. Playing small ball, Carl Chester bunted the ball back to Puk who couldn’t handle it in time to get anyone out. Puk plunked Christopher Barr to load the bases with no outs. Catcher Zack Collins then hit a two run single to left field.  Puk then struck out the next two batters. After plunking Ruiz, Puk was relieved for freshman Brady Singer. Singer was able to force a ground out to third and the Gators finally get out of the inning and down 3-1.

The Gators get nothing in the top of the fourth and Miami added some bonus runs in their half. In a common theme, Miami’s first batter of the inning got on base when Singer walked Edgar Michelangeli.  Sticking with the small ball theme, Crocitto bunted Michelangeli to second and was put out at first. Barr walked loading the bases with just one out. Collins singled to left field scoring Chester and Michelangeli. Singer then got out of the inning with a ground out and a strike out.

Still, the damage was done.

The Gators really didn’t hit the ball hard most of the early part of the game and they went four scoreless until the 8th . The Hurricanes were done scoring as well even though they had some chances to add to their lead.

The Gators added a run in the 8th inning on a Schwarz double followed by a Peter Alonso double to right field moving Schwarz to third. Jeremy Vasquez grounded out to second base scoring Schwarz and moving Alonso to third with just one out, but the Canes got out of the inning when Gator bats went silent again.

Down 5-2 in the ninth, Larson and freshman Jonathan India led off the inning striking out. Guthrie then doubled and afterward Miami inserted ace closer Bryan Garcia. Buddy Reed hit a blooper single scoring Guthrie and advanced on the throw home. Garcia would finish off the night striking out Schwarz for the final 5-3 score.

Highlights of the game included Puk throwing five strikeouts, adding to his season total of 11. Freshman Deacon Liput continued his season long hitting streak of seven games. Freshman Singer got more work in the game going 3.1 innings and giving up two hits and two runs to go along with three walks and a strike out. Freshman pitcher made his collegiate debut in the eighth inning and allowed one hit but no runs. 


The Gators and Hurricanes will wrap up the series Sunday at 1 p.m., with sophomore right-hander Alex Faedo (1-0, 1.59) opposing junior left-hander Danny Garcia (1-0, 0.00). The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and will be carried on ESPN3 through the Watch ESPN app.

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