With a chance to beat the #2 ranked baseball team in the country, Miami made key mental mistakes that ultimately cost them the game.
In the bottom of the ninth, UM made two mental errors that cost them the game. Pinch runner Nick Freitas misread the sign on first base to steal second and was easily thrown out.
Then, with runners on first and third Roger Tomas hit a sharp ground ball to second base. Rather than wait for the tag, Tommy Giles ran through it allowing for a double play at first and ending the game.
"To be honest with you, he should not have been running during that play," Head Coach Jim Morris said. "We made quite a few mental mistakes with out young guys. It cost us against a veteran club. They scored two runs with no hits. We gave them some mistakes and they took advantage."
Third baseman Danny Valencia led the Hurricanes with his batting, going 2-for-3 and scored a run.
"We played well, good enough to win, but a couple of breaks went their way," Valencia said. "In a way we beat ourselves there. We played good enough to win, our pitching was great. Our offense was slow. We are streaky and we didn't hit and score runs when we need to. We were one break away all day."
The Hurricanes scored first in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI double down the third-baseline from DH Dennis Raben, scoring Valencia from second-base.
UF responded in the top of the third, loading the bases off two walks with two outs, but Gutierrez settled down, striking out second baseman Brandon McArthur for the final out of the inning.
Gutierrez allowed his first run in the top of the sixth inning off a Dickey single that could have been a double play. Second baseman Jemile Weeks low throw to first base allowing Brian Jeroloman to score the run.
Gutierrez ended the day with 6 1/3 innings pitched, 104 pitches, two earned runs, five walks, and four strikeouts.
"[Gutierrez] is a guy that as long as he throws strikes, he holds the runners well and positions good," Morris said. "He does the little things it takes to win."
In relief for Gutierrez, Danny Gil gave up Miami's second run in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded, UF shortstop Adam Davis scored on a ground out by Bryan Jeroloman, giving the Gators a 2-1 lead.
Starting pitcher Bryan Ball pitched a very efficient game for the Gators, allowing one run on seven hits, striking out five, and no walks. Left fielder Gavin Dickey had the most productive game at the plate for UF, going 2-for-4 and one RBI.
With two games left in the series, Morris hopes the young UM team can learn from its mistakes Friday and move on.
"I hate to say it but you expect mental mistakes with young guys," Morris said. "These are things we have gone over, but until you get out here and play ball against a good club you don't realize how those mistakes hurt you. As we go through the season, with as many young guys as we have, you are going to see them grow and get better."
Saturday's game starts at 1 PM at Mark Light field. Probable starters are for UM Manny Miguelez (LHP) and for UF Bryan Augenstein (RHP).
Game 1: Miami Falls to UF, 2-1
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