It was common knowledge around the UM baseball team that the Florida Gators possess one of the most potent lineups in college baseball this season. Most experts thought if there was a weakness to UF's team, it would be their pitching.
But in the first two games of the series against UM, the Hurricanes have learned that UF's pitching staff is no slouch.
"[Their pitching staff] has kept the ball down and they have played great defense, first baseman Yonder Alsonso said. "Their hitting is so powerful and awesome that their pitching gets overlooked a bit."
"They were throwing strikes and got ahead of our hitters and pitched very well," Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said. "We haven't had very many opportunities and when we did, we did not take advantage of them. They haven't dominated our pitching either, they have just had some big hits that won the game for them."
Much like the first game of the series, game two was shaping up to be another pitchers duel. The starting pitchers for UM and UF each allowed only one earned run and walked only one batter.
But, with the score tied at one in the top of the eighth inning, Florida All-American Matt LaPorta hit his first homerun of the season off Manny Miguelez, giving UF a 2-1 lead, breaking the game open, and ending any hopes for a UM victory.
"It was a change-up low and away and he just hooked it," Miguelez said of the only earned run he gave up. "It was a 1-0 pitch and I just wanted to keep him off balance."
The Gators scored first in the top of the second off an Adam Davis line drive single to left field, scoring designated hitter Austin Pride.
Later in the inning, Miguelez fought his way out of a tough jam with the bases loaded and LaPorta at the plate. LaPorta popped out to second baseman Jemille Weeks to end the inning, giving the Gators a 1-0 lead
Miami responded in the fourth inning with a RBI double to right-centerfield by Alonso, scoring Jon Jay from second base, tying the game 1-1.
Miguelez pitched the best game of his career Saturday, throwing eight innings, allowing five hits, one earned run, one walk while recording seven strikeouts—his career high.
In the ninth inning, UF sealed the game by scoring two more runs off a wild pitch by UM reliever Chris Perez and a double by Brian Leclerc.
Saturday marked the second straight game when UM's starting pitcher threw well enough to win the game. One thing is apparent; Miami's hitters are in a funk.
"It surprises me that we haven't scored more than two runs in two games," Morris said. "They have pitched well and played solid defense, but we have to swing the bat better too. We had a couple of guys on base, but we didn't hit when we had those guys on."
Sunday's game is at noon with LHP Scott Maine scheduled to make his first start of the season.
Miami Drops Second Straight to UF, 4-1
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