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No.14 Florida 8, No.22 Miami 1: A Florida Win Sets Up a Dramatic Series Finale

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Florida took the second game of the in-state rivalry series Saturday night.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: FEB 22 Miami at Florida Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Three errors and a five-run top of the ninth inning cost Miami the second game of their annual rivalry series against the Florida Gators. With the loss the Hurricanes drop to 8-2 on the season, but still have an opportunity to win the series on Sunday afternoon.

Florida took an early lead in the top of the first. Colby Halter led off the game with a double, then scored when he stole third and the throw went into the outfield. Defense cost Miami again in the top of the third, when a two-out dropped third strike allowed a runner to reach before Jud Fabian hit a two-run home run to left field to make the score 3-0.

Karson Ligon, making his first career weekend start as a Hurricane, settled in well after the third inning. The freshman worked seven innings, tied his career-high in strikeouts with eight, and of the three runs he allowed, only one was earned. Ligon retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced.

However, on offense the Hurricanes had no answer for Florida starting pitcher Brandon Sproat. He worked 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out eight Hurricanes on his way to the win.

Miami found a way to score a run in the eighth inning. CJ Kayfus led off the inning with a single, and after he reached second on a wild pitch, Yohandy Morales drove him in with an RBI-single. The tying run was at the plate after the hit, but two strikeouts ended the inning and kept the score at 3-1.

Florida responded to effectively end the game in the top of the ninth inning. Two batters reached base to start the inning, and a sac-bunt advanced both runners into scoring position. A single scored the first run of the inning before a beautifully executed squeeze play scored the second run of the ninth on a close play at the plate. Kendrick Calilao then came to the plate and hit a three-run home run over the left field fence to make the score 8-1 and set up a series-determining game on Sunday afternoon.

The Sunday afternoon game is scheduled to get underway at 12:00 p.m. on the ACC Network. Jake Garland will take the mound for Miami hoping to win his third game of the season in his third start.

Game Info

Winning Pitcher: Brandon Sproat (2-1, 6.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)

Losing Pitcher: Karson Ligon (1-1, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K)

Save: None