Florida's Jud Fabian runs bases during an NCAA college baseball game against Georgia, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Gators Fall Short; Drop Opening Series to Miami

The No. 1 Florida Gators baseball team welcomed the No. 21 Miami Hurricanes to Florida Ballpark for Game 3 of their series on Sunday afternoon. After tying the series on Saturday with a 13-inning thriller, it all came down to Game 3.

After going down 8-0 in the first four innings of the game, the Gators made a comeback attempt but fell just short. Miami claimed the game 8-6 and took the series with wins in games 2 and 3.

Miami Takes Early Lead

Florida pitcher Hunter Barco got the start on the mound for the Gators in Game 3.

Miami picked up where they left on Saturday with a big opening inning.

Adrian Del Castillo put Miami on the board 2-0 with a two-run RBI double. The Canes’ Alex Toral followed up with an RBI single putting the Canes up 3-0 in the top of the first.

Miami freshman Victor Mederos took the mound for the Hurricanes in the bottom of the first.

Looking to climb back from a 3-0 deficit, the Gators’ Jacob Young got things going for Florida. A leadoff double put Young on base. This marked Young’s 21st consecutive game with a hit. However, Florida’s next three hitters would be strikeouts to end the inning.

Miami kept things going at the plate in the top of the second. A single from the Hurricanes’ Anthony Vilar allowed Tony Jenkins to put Miami up 4-0.

In the top of the third, Miami’s Raymond Gil found some success at the plate. Gil’s first homer of the series but the Canes up 5-0 over Florida.

Mink Takes the Mound

Freshman pitcher Hunter Mink took the mound for Barco midway through the fourth.

However, Miami would keep all the momentum in their favor. Morales tripled to the right field advancing Lala home for the score.

After Mink hit A. Del Castillo with a pitch, struck out a batter and walked another, Miami had all the pieces in place to set up a few more fourth-inning runs.

Christian Del Castillo hit a two-run RBI single to right field, putting the Canes up 8-0.

Florida on the Board

The bottom of the fourth served the Gators’ offense well. Jordan Butler put the Gators on the board with an RBI single that advanced Nathan Hickey home.

With no outs and the bases loaded, Florida had an opportunity to slash the Canes 8-1 lead. However, the Miami defense kept things under control with a strikeout from Mederos and a double play to end the inning.

The Florida offense slowly but surely put up a run in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Butler hit an RBI single to put Florida in the game 8-2.

A pitching change from Miami put Anthony Arguelles on the mound in place of Mederos. Arguelles managed to cut the Florida comeback attempt in the bottom of the fifth.

In the bottom of the sixth, Young continued to put some pressure on Miami. An RBI single from Young put the Gators within five of Miami, 8-3. Florida tacked on another run after a balk advanced Colby Halter home. This cut the Canes’ lead to 8-4.

An RBI double from Sterlin Thompson in the top of the seventh kept the Gators comeback alive. Thompson advanced home off of an RBI single from Halter. Florida entered the top of the eighth down by two, 8-6.

After a hot start, the Miami offense remained quiet through the rest of the game. However, their 8-0 lead to start the game was enough for Miami to take Game 3 and claim the series.

Up Next for Florida

The Gators take the road for a midweek matchup on Tuesday night against UNF. The first pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.

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