Gators Drill ‘Canes to Take Series Opener

Sophomore lefties Alex Panteliodis and Nick Maronde combined to limit the Miami Hurricanes to just two hits while striking out 15 batters to lead the Gators to a 7-1 win over the 'Canes. The win gave the Gators the first "W" in a three game weekend set here in Coral Gables.

Florida (6-1) took a 4-0 lead in the third inning on a pair of two runs singles. Josh Adams drilled a base hit to left field for the first two runs and Austin Maddox added a shot through the right side of the Miami infield for two more.

That lead held up until the Canes (6-2) finally scored thanks to a scary play in the sixth inning. Freshman Zeke DeVoss drilled a shot to right centerfield and just as Daniel Pigott was about to make the catch he collided with centerfielder Matt den Dekker knocking the ball loose and giving DeVoss a triple. Both Gators were shaken up and stayed in the game, though each was pulled in the later innings.

The Gators sent a substantial portion of the 4,274 person crowd home in the eighth inning. Nolan Fontana was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 5-1 and catcher Mike Zunino followed with a sharp single to plate two more runs for the final margin of victor.

Panteliodis (3-0) started and got the win, allowing just one run and two hits while striking out eight in five and two thirds innings. Maronde came out of the bullpen to throw three and a third hitless innings. He struck out seven Miami batters in his best outing of the year.

The two teams go at it against Saturday night at 7:00 with the series finale Sunday afternoon at 3:00.

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Florida is not used to having a lot of success in Coral Gables. The win Friday night is just the Gators' 36th in 112 games. Even if the Gators sweep the series it will only raise the Gators' winning percentage to .333

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Matt den Dekker went 2-for-5 in the contest extending his hitting streak to 16 over this season and last. His batting average actually dropped a few points from .448 to .441

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The home team has lost the last five regular season games between the schools. The Gators took the final game of a three-game set down here in 2008, and Miami swept the Gators at McKethan Stadium last season. The ‘Canes will keep the home field disadvantage for two more games.


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