UF 6, UM 4

Sloppy Miami Hurricanes can’t complete sweep of Florida Gators

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.comFebruary 23, 2014 

Any brooms brought to Alex Rodriguez Park on Sunday by zealous Miami Hurricanes fans were likely hidden under their seats midway through the first inning.

The Hurricanes could have used them to clean up the sloppiness that has plagued them this season.

Florida, 6-4 winners over Miami, scored two unearned runs on two throwing errors in the fourth inning to stretch a two-run lead into a four-run lead. By the time UM came back with two runs of its own in the fifth, it was too late.

Regardless, the No. 23 Gators salvaged the last game of the series by shelling UM starter Andy Suarez for four runs on six hits — three singles, two doubles and a triple — in the first inning alone.

That inning, coupled with the Hurricanes’ 17th and 18th errors, prevented the No. 16 Canes (4-3) from sweeping the series, which UM hasn’t done against UF since 2009.

“We wanted to sweep, especially winning the first two you always have that in the back of your head,’’ said Dale Carey, who hit a towering solo home run in the third but flied out to right field to end the game.

“They always have a good pitching staff. For us to put up 15 runs [in the series] against a team like that is obviously a confidence booster for us.’’

UM had its chances in the ninth with one out and runners on first and second, but Sebastian Diaz, who ripped a ball just inches foul of the third-base bag, struck out against reliever Danny Young before Carey’s final out against Eric Hanhold.

UF (5-3) batted through its entire starting lineup to open the game.

Richie Martin began the onslaught with a double down the right-field line, and from there Boca Raton native Taylor Gushe (RBI single), Peter Alonso (RBI triple), Braden Mattson (RBI double), Ryan Larson (RBI single) and John Sternagel (single) hammered Suarez.

After the first, Suarez (1-1, 3.75 ERA) settled down to scatter five hits over the next six innings. He walked one and struck out five.

UF used seven pitchers, with left-handed freshman reliever A.J. Puk earning his first career victory.

Miami scored its initial run in the first on a double to left-center by Brad Fieger, who drove home Tyler Palmer (walk and stolen base).

Carey’s home run made it 4-2.

But UF’s two unearned runs in the fourth eventually sealed Miami’s fate. Sternagel opened the inning with a single, and Buddy Reed reached on an error when third baseman David Thompson cleanly fielded his bunt and threw it way over first baseman Fieger’s head. Sternagel went to third and scored on a groundout by Casey Turgeon.

Then, even more unfathomable, the next batter, Gushe, struck out but reached first when catcher Garrett Kennedy threw wildly past Fieger.

“Both of them were very easy plays,’’ UM coach Jim Morris said.

“I’m concerned, don’t get me wrong. It’s more of a mental thing than it is anything to me. You’ve just got to overcome that and be mentally tough and keep practicing hard, which I know our guys will do.’’

The Canes will play the Miami Marlins in an exhibition game at 1:05 p.m. Wednesday in Jupiter, then travel to Tallahassee for a three-game weekend series against Florida State.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service