There was an incredible performance at Mark Light Field on Friday night. It just wasn’t by the Hurricanes. Florida junior pitcher Logan Shore threw his first career shutout and third complete game as the No. 1 Gators beat the No. 6 Canes 5-0 in front of 4,147 fans. The Canes have now lost four straight to the Gators, including two crushing losses in the 2015 College World Series that sent Miami home.
Shore had twice as many strikeouts (eight) as hits allowed (four) to go with zero walks in his masterful performance that required just 97 pitches. The right-hander hit the first batter he faced and then only allowed four base runners the rest of the game.
“Great crowd. They were better than we were tonight,” Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said. “Florida outplayed us tonight. They got a very good club. Shore pitched an outstanding game.”
The Canes (4-1) didn’t get their first hit of the night until the fourth inning. Sophomore Carl Chester led the Canes with three of the team’s four hits and was on the receiving end of Shore’s errant pitch in the first. Senior left-hander Thomas Woodrey (1-1) struggled against the potent Gators lineup, giving up a career-high tying five earned runs in five innings.
The Gators (6-0) faced no such difficulties at the plate, finishing the game with eight hits and five walks. Florida opened the game with two runs in the first on a two-run home run by Peter Alonso. The Gators added two more runs in the fourth on a two-run RBI single by Deacon Liput.
“They had a really good approach as a team against me. I don’t think I had my best stuff by any means, but overall they battled me tough,” Woodrey said. “They’re ranked No. 1 in the country and tonight they played like it.”
Florida’s designated hitter JJ Schwarz led off the sixth with a screaming home run over the left field wall to put the Gators up 5-0. An Alonso walk followed by a Jeremy Vasquez single ended Woodrey’s night. Sophomore Jesse Lepore came in for relief and threw three scoreless innings. Redshirt freshman Devin Meyer made his first career appearance with a scoreless ninth.
“Their lineup all the way through had a good approach. They played better than us tonight,” Woodrey said of Florida.
The Canes only seriously threatened Shore (2-0) once, back in the fourth inning. Chester led off with a double to left field followed by a single from junior first baseman Chris Barr. Miami had men on the corners and its three, four and five hitters coming up with no outs, yet still failed to score a run.
Junior catcher Zack Collins popped out to center after fouling off a deep fly ball to left field. Shore picked off a leaning Barr at first for the second out, leaving only Chester on base. Junior left fielder Jacob Heyward reached the right field warning track but Vasquez made the catch at the wall to end the inning.
“We had a first and third situation with no outs that we got to score. We got three, four, five up and we didn’t get a run in,” Morris said. “That’s a big turning point right there when we couldn’t get anybody in at that time.”
The Canes next play Florida at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Mark Light Field.