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Miami 5, No.5 Florida 2: McKendry Leads the Hurricanes to Victory

Miami got a huge Friday night win against Florida Friday.

Credit: Miami Athletics

The Miami Hurricanes started their season 5-0 for the first time since 2013 with a win over the No.5 Florida Gators on Friday. Miami had another great offensive performance, scoring five runs on thirteen hits including two homeruns.

Evan McKendry put in a great performance for the Hurricanes. The ace of the pitching staff threw seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out nine. McKendry allowed Miami to go straight to Daniel Federman, who collected the six-out save to end the game.

Miami got on the board first. In the bottom of the second freshman Adrian Del Castillo worked a great at-bat and scorched a single up the middle. Alex Toral followed Del Castillo to the plate and worked a great at-bat of his own. After working a hitter’s count Toral launched a line drive over the fence in right field for his fifth homerun of the season, giving Miami a 2-0 lead in the process. Toral now leads the NCAA in homeruns.

Florida didn’t respond until the bottom of the fourth. Brady McConnell started the inning with a double, the Gators’ first hit of the night. McKendry struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning, and Ray Gil made a great play at third for the second out, but McConnell moved to second in the process. Kendrick Calilao followed with an RBI triple that made the game 2-1. McKendry got out of the jam with a strikeout, and Miami led 2-1 after four.

In the bottom of the sixth the Gators managed to tie the game. A single and double gave UF men on second and third with no outs, and a groundout tied the game at two. Fortunately, Evan McKendry managed to work out of the inning, but suddenly a game Miami had been dominating was now tied.

The tie wouldn’t last for long though, Michael Amditis hit his first career homerun to start the seventh and Miami once again led 3-2. Jordan Lala followed the homerun with a single, and a sac-bunt and groundout pushed him to third base. A beautiful RBI squeeze-bunt by Freddy Zamora scored Lala and made the game 4-2.

In the top of the eighth the Hurricanes added on another insurance run. Michael Amditis reached second on an error, and with two outs, Tony Jenkins ripped a clutch RBI single to center field that scored Amditis and made the game 5-2 Hurricanes.

After that Daniel Federman worked the last two innings and earned the save. The win marked the first time Miami had won the opening game in a series against Florida since 2014. Miami has two chances to take the series on Saturday and Sunday.

After the win the team gave Gino DiMare the game ball in honor of the coach’s first win in Gainesville:

Miami will hope to repeat this performance tomorrow night against Florida. The offensive approach for the Hurricanes has drastically improved, and it’s reflecting in both the runs scored and in the wins column so far for the ‘Canes.

Game Info

Winning Pitcher: Evan McKendry (2-0, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)

Losing Pitcher: Jordan Butler (1-1, 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)

Save: Daniel Federman (1)

Box Score:

Next Game:

Date & Time: Saturday, February 23, 6:30 P.M. Eastern

Hurricanes Starter: Chris McMahon (1-0, 1.80 ERA)

Florida Starter: Tommy Mace (1-0, 2.57 ERA)

Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM

Television: SEC Network+