Breakdown: No. 1 Florida Gators baseball earns tough series win at No. 6 Miami

By Adam Silverstein
February 28, 2016

No. 1 Florida Gators baseball (7-1) suffered its first loss of the season over the weekend but still took the three-game series in Coral Gables, Florida, in impressive fashion by taking down the No. 6 Miami Hurricanes (5-2) on Friday and in the series rubber match Sunday.

The 2-1 series win makes the Gators’ all-time record against the Canes 117-128-1 and 44-79 in Coral Gables. However, Florida has now won 23 of the last 28 meetings against Miami, and UF extended its winning streak to 12 games in the series with a victory on Friday.

Here’s how the Gators went about taking down their in-state rivals.

Friday: Junior right-handed pitcher Logan Shore (9.0 IP, 4 H, 8 K) made quick work of the Canes, tossing a complete game shutout in a 5-0 Gators victory. Florida scored via a two-run shot from junior first baseman Peter Alonso (2/3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) in the first, a two-RBI single from freshman second baseman Deacon Liput (1/3, 2 RBI, BB) in the fourth, and a solo homer sophomore designated hitter JJ Schwarz (1/2, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB) in the sixth.

Saturday: Try as it might late, Florida was unable to overcome a 5-1 lead achieved by Miami at the end of the fourth. The Gators punched in runs in the top of the eighth and ninth but ultimately fell 5-3. Junior left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk (2.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R [2 ER], 5 K) did not have his best stuff, seeing limited action while hitting two batters, tossing a wild pitch and committing a fielding error. Freshman RHP Brady Singer (3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, K) did not fare much better. Schwarz (2/5, RBI, R) struck out thrice in a game UF wanted to quickly forget.

Sunday: Florida got right back into the swing of things in the series finale, outscoring Miami 7-0 through 8.1 innings before allowing three late runs. Sophomore RHP Alex Faedo (6.1 IP, 2 BB, 12 K) was dominant, throwing a no-hitter before being pulled after reaching 95 tosses. Schwarz (2/5, 3 RBI, 2 R) continued his impressive series with a two-run triple in the seventh, while three other Gators contributed RBIs on the afternoon. Junior LHP Kirby Snead (1.2 IP, BB, 3 K) was strong in relief before junior RHP Shaun Anderson (0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R [2 ER], K)’s rough relief appearance late in the contest.

Takeaway: It would be a surprise if UF didn’t hold on to its No. 1 spot in the nation when the new top 25 polls are released. The Gators took care of business on the road in a tough environment against a talented Hurricanes team that should be a top-10 program all season.

Up next: Florida will play a quick home-and-home on Tuesday in Orlando and Gainesville, Florida, on Wednesday before its weekend home series against Dartmouth gets underway.

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