Florida clinches series over Miami after 14-4 win

Sophomore outfielder Renzo Gonzalez rounding the bases in Miami's game against Florida on March 4 in Gainesville. Photo credit: Anna Carrington (Miami Athletics)

An early season battle between two ranked teams usually promises close games decided in the final few innings. However, this weekend’s series between the No. 22 Miami Hurricanes and sixth-ranked University of Florida (UF) Gators did not provide much drama.

After being defeated handily, 10-4, in the first game of the series, Miami bounced back to hand the Gators a 14-6 loss. Still, the final game of the series proved to be the largest blowout as Florida routed the ‘Canes, 14-4.

“It’s disappointing,” Miami head coach Gino DiMare said. “We felt good coming into this game, but it’s tough when you fall behind like that. Our guys kept fighting. We had that one ball that was hit hard and if the guy doesn’t make that catch, it’s a three-run game. They swung the bat well. They had the home run ball today. We spotted them a lot of runs early and we just can’t do that. We have to learn from this.”

Jac Caglianone earned the win on the mound for the Gators as he tossed an impressive six innings while only allowing one run and striking out eight hitters. Alejandro Rosario was credited with the loss, pitching 1.1 innings and giving up seven earned runs.

Florida catcher BT Riopelle led the way offensively as he went 3-for-5 at the plate with a home run and four RBI. Five Gators batters had multiple hits on the day.

UF’s blazing hot start at the plate dug a hole too deep for Miami, as the Hurricanes found themselves down 9-0 after only three innings. As has been the case in many of their losses, home runs doomed Miami as the pitching staff gave up four which led to eight runs for the Gators.

The ‘Canes also had a difficult time finishing innings as the Gators hit .538 with two outs half of their runs came in such situations.

In the first inning, Riopelle initiated a string of four two-out RBI singles which quickly put the Gators up 4-0. He then crushed a grand slam in the bottom of the second to open the lead up to eight.

Florida added another run in the third off an RBI single by second baseman Cade Kurland before UM got on the board with a sacrifice fly by right fielder Zach Levenson to make it a 9-1 game.

Three innings passed by with no scoring on either side until the eighth inning. In the top of the frame, a double by left fielder Edgardo Villegas, a single by third baseman Yohandy Morales and a Levenson double drove in a total of three runs for the ‘Canes to cut the deficit to five.

Florida quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning with five runs off three homers by left fielder Wyatt Langford, shortstop Josh Rivera and right fielder Ty Evans. This put the score at 14-4, forcing the game to be concluded with a mercy rule.

The Hurricanes will attempt to rebound from this loss on Wednesday at 4 p.m. as they return home to Mark Light Field to take on the Jacksonville Dolphins. The game will air on ACC Network Extra.