Miami dropped the third game of the series against the Florida Gators with a disappointing 4-1 loss Sunday. The Hurricanes blew the chance to win their first series against Florida since 2014, squandering a Friday night win in the process.
The youth of the Hurricanes squad showed today. Miami left seven runners on base in the game. The ‘Canes only offense of the game came from an Adrian Del Castillo solo home run in the top of the fourth, which tied the game at 1-1 for a short time. Miami had several two out hits, and multiple chances to score, but they couldn’t string together hits for the entire game.
Brian Van Belle took his first loss as a Hurricane, despite doing everything he could on the mound to prevent it. He allowed just three runs, only two of which we’re earned. If there was one positive to take away from the weekend it’s that the Hurricanes have a very strong weekend rotation. Evan McKendry, Chris McMahon, and Van Belle all put together great starts for the Hurricanes against UF.
Florida got off to a great start in the game. A walk gave the Gators a baserunner, and a wild pitch moved him to second. An RBI single scored the runner, and Florida already led 1-0 after one inning.
The aforementioned Del Castillo home run tied the game at 1 in the fourth, but Florida immediately retook the lead. Two quick outs started the inning, but a two-out single gave the Gators some life in the inning. Another single appeared to move the runner from first to third, but Freddy Zamora, who had a really rough day fielding, dropped the throw into the infield, which allowed the runner to score from third. After two singles and a momentary lapse in focus on defense Miami had allowed UF to retake the lead.
In the bottom of the sixth Kendrick Calilao continued his great start to the season with a solo shot that seemed to take the energy out of the Hurricanes if it wasn’t gone already. Another run in the bottom of the eighth all but iced the game, and meant Miami blew the series with sloppy play in the finale.
Now the Hurricanes have to put this series behind them and refocus ahead of playing FIU on Wednesday. Miami has a relatively easy week ahead of them. It’s time to start piling up the out-of-conference wins ahead of a tough conference slate. Miami proved they can hit and now it’s time to prove they can translate that into runs. Additionally, these next few games need to be used to find who can be consistent in the bullpen. This weekend will be a tough one to swallow for a young team, but the most important thing in baseball is a short memory. There’s a lot of season left, and a lot of promise on this team, hopefully it begins to show in the rest of the year.
Winning Pitcher: Jack Leftwich (2-0, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K)
Losing Pitcher: Brian Van Belle (1-1, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)
Save: Nolan Crisp (4)
At FIU (3-3)
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 27, 7:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Slade Cecconi (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
FIU Starter: Franco Aleman (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM
Television: ESPN+ (With subscription)