Coral Gables Regional Recap - Day 2

The second day of the baseball regional at Coral Gables has been completed. Miami and Florida have advanced to the championship game on Sunday. Miami won their only game today over Florida Atlantic to remain unbeaten. Florida won two elimination games over Bethune-Cookman and Florida Atlantic.

J.D. Cockroft pitched a gem for Miami and in the nightcap Florida Atlantic could not find a pitcher to shut down Florida's power surge.

Florida 8, Bethune-Cookman 6 (Bethune-Cookman is eliminated)
In the first game of the day Florida faced Bethune-Cookman in an elimination game. Florida scored three key runs in the sixth inning to give them a 6-5 lead, a lead they would not surrender. The Gators were led by Mario Garza who went 2-3 with three RBI's and a homerun. Brian Rose and Stephen Barton also homered for the Gators. Tommy Boss was the starting pitcher for Florida and pitched four solid innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Mike Pete and Connor Falkenbach relieved Boss and only gave up one run the rest of the game. Sebastien Boucher hit is first home run of the season for Bethune-Cookman and All-American John Gragg had a solid game going 2-5 with a double. Starting pitcher Mumba Rivera looked to be in control of the game until he gave up three runs in the sixth inning.

Miami 1, Florida Atlantic 0
The battle of the unbeatens resulted in a pitchers duel. J.D. Cockroft for Miami turned in one of the best pitching performances in school history. Cockroft pitched a complete game shutout allowing just one hit for the game in the third inning. He finished with eight strikeouts and three walks. Randy Beam was on the mound for Florida Atlantic and he pitched a complete game as well allowing just one run on five hits while recording five strikeouts. The only run of the game came when Ryan Braun and Jim Burt hit back-to-back singles to lead off the fourth inning. Brian Barton sacrificed the runners up a base and Gaby Sanchez hit a hard grounder to the first baseman to score Braun. Sanchez also had a great day in the field beginning three double plays in the game.

Florida 22, Florida Atlantic 14 (Florida Atlantic is eliminated)
In the final game of the day, Florida and Florida Atlantic put on an offensive show combining for 36 runs, 38 hits and nine homeruns. It wasn't all pretty though, neither team's starting pitcher made it past the third inning and a total of thirteen pitchers were used. The defensive effort was sub-par as well as the teams combined for nine errors. Florida was led by two seniors, Brian Rose and Mario Garza. Rose went 3-5 with seven RBI's and two homeruns. Garza went a perfect 5-5 with five RBI's and two homeruns. Florida's Ben Harrison went 3-5 with three RBI's while C.J. Smith entered the game as a pinch-hitter and went 2-3 with a homerun and three RBI's. Second baseman Derek Hutton was the star for Florida Atlantic going 3-5 with six RBI's and two homeruns. Mike Cox also had a solid game at the plate going 4-5.

Very few people thought the Florida Gators (36-20-1) would make the NCAA Tournament after failing to make the eight-team Southeastern Conference Tournament. Even the players had their doubts. However, Florida has made the most of their opportunity advancing to the regional finals against the top-seed Miami Hurricanes (41-14-1). Miami is the clear favorite to win the regional as they have a rested pitching staff including Brandon Camardese who is 9-0 on the year. Camardese needs to slow down the hot bats from Florida to help the Miami Hurricanes win the regional. The game begins at 1:00 and if Florida wins, the same two teams will play again approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

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