With the win, the Hurricanes (43-21) take a one-game advantage in the best of three series with the Gators (48-11) heading into Game 2 Sunday.
Miami reliever Ricky Orta (2-0) was credited with the win as UF starter Justin Hoyman (11-2) shouldered the loss for Florida.
The Hurricanes' Jon Jay opened the scoring in the first inning with a lead-off home run to right field off Hoyman to put UM up 1-0.
Florida threatened in the top of the second when a double off the left field wall by Matt LaPorta put runners on second and third with no outs for the Gators. Miami smothered the UF scoring attempt, highlighted by catcher Erick San Pedro picking off Jeff Corsaletti at third followed by a J.D. Cockroft strike out.
Adam Davis put Florida on the board for the first time in the top of the third, singling to center to plate Jonathan Tucker from second. Davis then added another run, coming in to score on a single off the bat of Ben Harrison to give UF a 2-1 lead.
Miami's Adam Ricks tied the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, sending Roger Tomas home on a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Gators responded in the top of the fourth on a solo shot to left-center by Brain Leclerc and once again in the fifth on a home run to left by LaPorta, extending the UF lead to two.
Following a sacrifice bunt down the third base line by Jay advancing Hurricane runners to second and third, Miami's Ricks singled to left to bring in Richard Giannotti. UM's Ryan Braun knotted the score at 4-4 on the following at bat with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Tomas from third.
Cockroft's outing came to an end in the top of the sixth following a single through the right side of the infield by the Gators' Brian Jeroloman. The Hurricane starter gave way to Orta after 5.1 innings work, allowing 10 hits, four runs (all earned), three walks and five strikeouts.
The Hurricanes capitalized on four errors in the bottom of the seventh as Jay and Ricks scored after each reached base on throwing errors by UF pitcher Justin Hoyman. Braun added Miami's eighth run of the game, reaching home on a fielders choice off the bat of Burt.
Florida's Justin Tordi closed the gap in the eighth with a two-run home run to left field off UM reliever Marcelo Albir to bring the score to 8-6. Tucker then doubled to left field before coming in from second on a double by Davis to put the Gators within one run before the Hurricanes' Danny Gil came on to replace Albir, striking out Ben Harrison to end the Florida rally.
UF reliever Darren O'Day replaced Hoyman in the bottom of the eighth, taking the hill from the Florida starter after 7.0 innings with 10 hits, eight runs (two earned), one walk and three strikeouts.
Gil held on to the UM lead in the ninth, striking out two to secure the Hurricane 8-7 victory, collecting his fifth save of the season.
The Hurricanes and Gators will return to Mark Light Field Sunday, June 12, 2004 for Game 2 of the 2004 NCAA Coral Gables Super Regional at 3 p.m..
Post Game Quotes
University of Florida Head Coach Pat McMahon
"It was a very difficult game. If you look at the boxscore this was a game that is a little uncharacteristic of our ball club during the course of the season with the number of errors we had. I think (the errors) were a result of guys rattling their hearts out - tyring to do the right thing. The will to come back is something that this club continues to do."
"One of our goals is to put up more runs than basehits. That is something we work very hard on. Today we had a lot of opportunities and weren't opportunistic in the game. He hit some balls hard - they turned some key double plays early on in the ball game. We also had a couple baserunning misques that we could imrove on that were factors in the outcome of the game."
On fielding errors in the seventh inning... "I think I had maybe one the entire season. I feel really comfortable fielding my posistion - that is something we work on all the time. It has never been an issue with me. I was really dissapointed that I didn't make those plays defensively because that is part of my job."
University of Miami Head Coach Jim Morris
"For our team it was a great win. We got a win off Justin Hoyman, one of the best pitchers in college baseball. The odds (for Miami) were not good against beating him. He was 11-1 coming into this game so the odds were not in our favor."
"We got some outstanding performances out of our guys, but I have to give credit to our four freshman."
"I don't think we really hit Hoyman that well today. (Florida's) bunt defense, particularly, fell apart today. Our team executed offensively and defensively and I think that was the difference in the game."
On striking out UF's Ben Harrison to end the eighth... "I threw a split-finger that was supposed to be in the dirt, but it ended up being on inside corner. It was a big strikeout at a big time for me - it got me pumped up."
On his performance today... "Going into today - going against a guy like Hoyman - I knew it was going to be a battle coming into today. It seemed like every inning we would score a run and then they would go up one. I needed to keep my team in the game and we would have a chance to win because I knew the bats would come alive and we would score some runs somehow."