To be the best, you have to beat the best; that’s how the saying goes.
The University of Miami baseball team was not able to get that done this weekend. The Hurricanes traveled to Gainesville to play the top-ranked Florida Gators and lost all three games to their in-state rival.
The Gators, who eliminated Miami from postseason play in the Super Regionals last year, won 8-3 on Friday night, 1-0 on Saturday afternoon and 5-3 on Sunday.
The Hurricanes are now 4-7 on the year. Sunday marked the first time since 1993 that a Miami team was below .500 through the first 10 games of a season.
The Hurricanes’ offensive woes have been a major part of the team’s struggles, something that continued against Florida the whole weekend.
Miami was only able to collect 19 hits in 97 plate appearances, a .196 team batting average.
The lineup did not back up the starting rotation, which pitched well for the most part against a very potent Gators offense.
On Friday night freshman starting pitcher Bryan Radziewski had his first shaky outing of the year. The left-hander lasted only three and one-third innings, surrendering five earned runs while taking the loss in the process.
“That’s not going to affect him, he’s level-headed,” interim head coach J.D. Arteaga said of Radziewski. “You learn a lot more from failure than you do success.”
Miami had its chances in the 8-3 loss. The team left 11 batters on base and couldn’t come up with the big hit in key situations, a troubling trend that has plagued the Canes.
On Saturday, sophomore pitcher E.J. Encinosa was brilliant. Unfortunately for the right-hander, so was Gators starter Hudson Randall, who held the Canes to just one hit through seven shutout innings.
Encinosa took the tough luck loss, allowing only one run through seven innings himself.
Sophomore pitcher Eric Whaley tossed five and one-third innings Sunday, giving up three earned runs in a loss.
Overall it was a rough weekend for Miami. The Gators had not swept the Canes in a regular season series since 2000.
The Hurricanes will look to get back on track this week in a pair of series. Miami will play Illinois State on Tuesday and Wednesday before Virginia Tech comes to town over the weekend.
Adam Berger may be contacted at email@example.com