The Miami Hurricanes played their second game of a three game series against the No.1 Florida Gators Saturday afternoon. A five-run first inning and three runs between the fifth and sixth innings for the Gators gave them an early lead, but Miami rallied late in the game to tie it at eight with a three run ninth inning. In extras, the Hurricanes scored two runs in the thirteenth inning and held on to win in a remarkable comeback.
Florida got ahead of the Hurricanes early. Jacob Young reached on an error to start the bottom of the first and three consecutive one-out hits from Nathan Hickey, Kirby McMullen, and Jordan Butler scored three runs. Miami starter Alejandro Rosario recovered and got an out, but two more RBI-hits, this time from Josh Rivera and Sterlin Thompson got UF out to a 5-0 lead.
Miami responded with a run of their own in the second. Back-to-back two out hits from Jared Thomas and Tony Jenkins made the score 5-1. After that, Rosario and UF starter Jack Leftwich settled in until the top of the fifth inning. Miami rallied against Leftwich, putting together three straight two-out hits to score two runs and cut Florida’s lead to just two. UF responded in the bottom of the inning though, and Jordan Dubberly allowed three runs on three hits and a walk over the next two innings to give Florida an 8-3 lead heading to the late innings.
The Hurricanes added a run in response in the seventh. Dominic Pitelli walked to start the inning and Jordan Lala followed him with a single. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and then Pitelli scored on an Adrian Del Castillo ground out to make the score 8-4.
Miami missed a chance to tie up the game in the eighth inning. Alex Toral led off the inning with a single and Christian Del Castillo followed him with a walk. A one-out RBI-single scored Toral, but two strikeouts stopped the rally from getting any farther for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes put together an incredible rally in the top of the ninth. Gators closer Franco Aleman lost all control of his fastball, and back-to-back walks to Anthony Vilar and Adrian Del Castillo started the half inning. A groundout advanced the runners before a walk and a hit-by-pitch scored a run. Two two-out walks to Tony Jenkins and Dominic Pitelli then tied the game at eight and completed an incredible comeback for Miami to tie the Gators.
The game moved to extra innings after the Hurricanes tied it and each team exchanged scoreless innings until Miami rallied in the top of the 13th. Christian Del Castillo walked with one out and Ben Wanger was hit by a pitch to give the Hurricanes two men on with one out. Tony Jenkins struck out, but Ray Gil followed him with a clutch single through the right side of the infield to score a run. Florida nearly got out of the inning when Jordan Lala appeared to ground out, but Gators first baseman Kris Armstrong dropped the throw and allowed the Hurricanes to add a run and make the score 10-8. The rally finished off a stretch of seven unanswered runs that put Miami in the lead.
Florida tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the thirteenth. A walk and two singles scored a run for the Gators, but a strikeout and a pop-up won the game for the Hurricanes. With the win, Miami ended a six game winning streak for Florida in the series.
Miami will hope that the comeback in Saturday’s game will give them momentum tomorrow as they go for their first series win against the Gators since 2014. Victor Mederos will take the mound for Miami in that game and it is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.
Winning Pitcher: Ben Wanger (1-0, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
Losing Pitcher: Jordan Butler (0-1, 1.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
@ UF Game 3
Date & Time: Sunday, February 21, 1:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Victor Mederos (2020: N/A)
Florida Starter: Hunter Barco (2020: 2-0, 1.40 ERA)
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM
Television: SEC Network+ (ESPN3)