Hurricanes get first series win over rival Florida since 2014

David Furones, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·3 min read

The Miami Hurricanes scored the first eight runs and then held off rival Florida, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Florida Ballpark to take two of three from the top-ranked Gators.

It’s UM’s first series win over UF since 2014. The Hurricanes (2-1) had lost 16 of their last 20 to the Gators and 33 of 41 since 2009 entering the opening weekend series.

Playing from behind all series, on Sunday, it was Miami jumping out in front of Florida to start. The Hurricanes, ranked anywhere from 6 to 21 in various polls, led 8-0 through three and a half innings.

UM freshman starter Victor Mederos went 4 2/3 innings in his college debut, allowing two runs — one earned — on seven hits. He struck out five Gators.

Florida scored six unanswered after trailing 8-0, but Hurricanes closer Carson Palmquist had a 1-2-3 ninth inning to seal it.

Miami had a three-run first inning to open the scoring. Adrian Del Castillo doubled to right-center to drive home Yohandy Morales and Jordan Lala, and Alex Toral’s RBI single brought in Del Castillo.

The Hurricanes added one run each of the next two innings — first Tony Jenkins scoring on a Gators error and then Raymond Gil hit a solo home run to left-center in the third.

They put up three more runs in the fourth after an RBI triple from Morales and a two-run single from Christian Del Castillo.

The Gators chipped away at the eight-run lead with runs in the fourth and fifth and two more in the sixth but, down 8-4, they left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth with the tying run at the plate. They got two more in the seventh to trim the deficit to 8-6 but left two more on base with a chance to take the lead.

Miami reliever Ben Wanger pitched a scoreless eighth inning, escaping thanks to a clutch double play from defensive replacement CJ Kayfus at first base, snaring a hard-hit line drive and tagging out a Florida base runner off the bag.

After losing the Friday season opener, Miami came back from a 5-0 deficit on Saturday. UM scored three runs in the ninth inning to initially send it to extras and then won, 10-9, in 13 innings.

Raymond Gil’s RBI single to right field put UM ahead in the 13th, and the Hurricanes scored another on an error. They held on in the bottom of the inning after giving up one run.

Miami’s three runs in the ninth on Saturday came without a hit in the inning. A bases-loaded hit by pitch and two bases-loaded walks extended the second game of the series.

Another ninth-inning rally in the Friday opener came up short for UM. Trailing 7-1, Miami got four runs across thanks to a Christian Del Castillo two-run double and a pair of sacrifice flies that followed, but the Hurricanes could not complete the comeback. They missed multiple early opportunities against Florida ace Tommy Mace on Friday after the scheduled 3 p.m. first pitch was delayed more than two hours.

The Hurricanes do not have a midweek game before they begin ACC play on Friday, hosting Virginia Tech in a 7 p.m. first pitch for the home opener from Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.