Gators baseball walks off with 5-4 win over Hurricanes in Gainesville Regional action

By Adam Silverstein
June 4, 2011

The rivalry may have been taken to another level Saturday as No. 2 Florida Gators baseball and the Miami Hurricanes squared off at McKethan Stadium in the Gainesville Regional portion of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Florida (47-16) came back from a two-run deficit and eventually took a 5-4 victory on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to advance to the regional finals and send Miami (37-22) to an elimination game.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Hudson Randall got the start for the Gators but was pulled after six innings of solid work. Junior RHP Tommy Toledo (5-3) pitched a strong ninth inning and came away with the victory.

Scoreless for two innings, Miami got on board first in the third to take an early 1-0 lead. The Hurricanes started the inning with a double and sacrificed a bunt and fly to bring the runner home. UM added a second run in the fourth, scoring a lead-off single with a one-out stand-up double.

Feeling the pressure, Florida succeeded in tying the game in the bottom of the inning. Junior right fielder Preston Tucker (2-4, RBI, R) got things going with a double, and sophomore catcher Mike Zunino followed suit to send him home and reduce the Gators’ deficit. Junior left fielder Tyler Thompson (2-4, RBI) kept the double parade going, smacking a ball to deep right to score Zunino (2-4, RBI, R) and knot the game up at 2-2.

UF kept the scoring run going in the fifth as sophomore shortstop Nolan Fontana connected on a single to score redshirt sophomore first baseman Vickash Ramjit, who led off the inning with a double. Fontana would advance to second on a bad throw and move over to third when senior center fielder Bryson Smith (2-3) singled. Continuing his hard-hitting afternoon, Tucker stepped into the box and doubled off the right field wall to plate Fontana and give Florida a 4-2 lead.

Miami looked to be going down in the top of the sixth but salvaged the frame to get on the board and draw the game closer. RF Dale Carey hit a clutch two-out double down the left field line to get on base and was singled home by third baseman Brad Fieger to put the Canes just one run behind the Gators. UM capitalized again in the seventh as second baseman Zeke DeVoss began the inning with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and came around to tie the game on a single by LF Rony Rodriguez.

The visitors threatened in the top of the eighth and ninth, but great pitching from Toledo (1.0 IP, K, H) negated a lead-off double in the latter inning to get Florida out of a jam. Gators junior designated hitter Daniel Pigott started the bottom of the inning by getting on base because of an error by the shortstop, advanced to second on a balk and was joined on base by Ramjit (1-3, R, BB), who was walked. The duo moved to second and third after a wild pitch and were joined on the bags when P Daniel Miranda walked his second batter of the inning, sophomore 3B Cody Dent (0-3, BB).

With all the pressure on him, Fontana (2-5, RBI, R) stepped up to the plate and hit a game-winning single to left, scoring Pigott (0-4, R) and sending Florida into the Gainesville Regional championship game on Sunday.

The Hurricanes have now lost seven-straight games to the Gators and 10 of the last 11. Four of Florida’s runs were scored due to opportunities provided by UM errors.

Miami will face Jacksonville at noon with the winner taking on UF in the finals at 4 p.m., live on ESPNU. The Gators only need one more victory to advance to the Super Regional, while either Miami or Jacksonville would have to defeat Florida twice.

12 Comments

  1. Greg McCloskey says:

    Adam, u need to check ur facts cuz u sound like a retard in this article. Pigott reached base on an error by the shortstop, not walk. Not only did u get this wrong but the mistake made u miss the obvious correlation between the errors today and how miami gave away the super regional last year on them a well. Better luck next time I guess tho.

    • Thanks for being normal and explaining I made a mistake instead of being rude for no reason whatsoever. I recognized the error portion of the story during the game but often post an early game story and then update it later in the day. In this case, I have not had the chance to add to it yet as I am out for a special occasion. You will notice that the hitting numbers have not yet been added.

      Anyway, thanks for your comment. I was able to make the correction. Could have done without the attitude for one minor mistake.

    • Joe says:

      You think Adam is the one that sounds like a retard? Hello irony.

    • Daniel M. says:

      Lol@ this lurking cane reject. Thanks for stopping by though. Adam is one of the hardest working bloggers in the nation and it’s nice to see that even cane rejects are checking in on Gator Nation. Enjoy your ……mediocre athletics.

  2. Daniel M. says:

    Haha
    suck it has beens

  3. Ken (CA) says:

    Miami was very lucky it even got to a walk off. If the ump had called either one of the strikes correctly in the 2nd, the whole game would have gone differently for the canes..

  4. GATOR CREW says:

    Great work Adam, don’t worry about Greg, he must be the “retard”(and a cane fan) because he obviously doesn’t know how to spell or use spell check U, CUZ, UR, THO, A WELL???? Nice work Greg

  5. Fernzpat says:

    I think this highlights the fact that we just don’t say thank you enough in this modern culture… Once again THANK YOU ADAM!
    Best Gator site, bar none, and always the first I check.
    Ignore the haters and the sore losers…

  6. GatorRx says:

    Wow Greg, way to state your thoughts in such an intelligent and articulate way. You should probably get back to trying to talk smack on XBox. Thanks for stopping by.

    Great write-up as always Adam. The Game had me worried for a while. My son and I went to Applebee’s to eat dinner and watch the last 3 innings. They tried to change the channel on us right before the 9th inning, but fortunately they changed it right back after I told our waiter I’d really like to finish it if possible. Boy did he ever get a nice tip!

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