Gators take series over Canes with 4-1 win

CORAL GABLES, FL --- It was much of the same in sunny Coral Gables as top ranked Florida defeated Miami 4-1 Saturday afternoon. Starter Bryan Augenstein handcuffed the Canes with a superb outing, Miami suffered yet another mental breakdown that resulted in Florida taking the lead, and the Gators (5-1) thwarted any ideas of a Hurricane party with a double play.

Bryan Augenstein (2-0) seemed to pick-up where Bryan Ball left off. The 6-5 225 Sabastian native gave up just five hits and one earned run in seven innings of work, sending the Canes faithful home saddled with another loss. Augenstein struck out five Hurricanes hitters, while yielding just one walk. He again mixed up a good fastball with a major league curveball, and a few change-ups. The sophomore threw 110 pitches.

Today it was the Gators who took the lead in the top of the second inning. Designated hitter Austin Pride single through the hole on the left side. Gavin Dickey moved him over with the sacrifice bunt to the mound. Two batters later, Chris Woods, hitting in the nine hole, hit a ball that Miami shortstop Walter Diaz was unable to field cleanly. The error allowed for Pride to move to third on the play. That allowed Florida leadoff hitter Adam Davis an opportunity to make something happen with two out in the inning. Davis drilled a single to left and the Gators were up 1-0. Miami starter Manny Miguelez plunked Brian Leclerc on a 0-1 pitch, which drew a warning from the home plate umpire. That loaded the bases for Florida slugger Matt LaPorta. The Canes would have no choice to give him a pitch. However, LaPorta got under a 1-2 pitch and popped the ball high to second base.

The Hurricanes tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth inning. John Jay left off with a single to center. Danny Valencia moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Jay scored on Yonder Alonso's double to right center

Miami starter Manny Miguelez (1-1) pitched a terrific game for the Hurricanes, who dropped to 6-5 overall with the loss. He was in command for much of the game buoyed by nice breaking balls and good location on his fastball. It appeared though that he was not hitting the spots as effectively throughout the seventh inning. Florida was jumping on his pitches early and had actually hit a couple balls hard that just didn't fall.

Unbelievably, Miami coach Jim Morris sent Miguelez, who had thrown 86 pitches was sent back out to the start the top of the eighth against none other than LaPorta. This had to be the match-up Florida Coach Pat McMahon had hoped for; A lefty who was nearing 90 pitches and against the right handed slugger.

LaPorta took a 1-0 delivery and air mailed it to the scoreboard in left-center. The Gators retook the lead 2-1.

Submariner Josh Edmondson came on for the Gators in the eighth. Jay reached base on a ball LaPorta failed to come up with. Fortunately, the right hander got right hander Danny Valencia to ground out to Davis at short. Just as he did yesterday, McMahon brought lefthander Stephen Porter to pitch to left hander Alonso. Porter struck him out on a 1-2 pitch. Porter started the ninth, but issued a walk to right fielder Tommy Giles and was relieved by closer Darren O'Day.

It took O'Day one pitch to secure the first out. Pinch hitter Richard O'Brien popped the ball up David Cash at third. The runner was held at first on the out. Three pitches later, Diaz hit a bouncer toward the bag, which allowed Davis to step on the bag and make the throw to first for the game ending double play.

The Hurricanes could only muster five hits. Their two errors proved costly, but not nearly as much as Morris' blunder allowing LaPorta to take the lefty yard.

Florida secured the series, but the two teams will play again tomorrow at noon.

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