Hurricanes avoid a Gator sweep with Sunday win

The University of Miami baseball team ended their three-game series with the University of Florida on a high note, winning 10-7 on Sunday after dropping the first two games of the weekend.

First baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Jemile Weeks combined for seven of the Hurricanes’ 13 hits in the victory to relinquish an otherwise disappointing trip to Gainesville, Fla.

Miami entered the series with great momentum after a three-game sweep of UCLA last week at Mark Light Field.

Pitching proved to be a serious problem for the ‘Canes throughout the series, who allowed SRA a total of 21 runs.

On Friday night, the Hurricanes committed a season-high five errors in a 7-2 loss SRA. Head Coach Jim Morris called it as poor of a performance as he had ever seen from the Hurricanes. Third baseman Gus Menendez was responsible for two throwing errors, one that led to an eventual run for the Gators.

Starting pitcher Scott Maine retired the first nine batters he faced, only to yield a solo homerun to UF shortstop Jon Townsend on his first pitch in the fourth inning. Maine gave up three more runs before being taken out with one out in the fourth inning.

The Hurricanes also failed to capitalize with their bats, recording only four hits all game. Down 4-0 in the top of the fifth with two men on and two out, the ‘Canes squandered an opportunity to get back into the game with a strikeout and a double-play ball to end the inning.

Miami’s woes continued Saturday afternoon, as the Gators downed the Hurricanes 7-5. Alonso hit his fourth homerun of the year to put the ‘Canes up 2-0 in the first inning, but failed to deliver in the clutch during the ninth. With the ‘Canes trailing by two runs with two outs and one runner on, Alonso lined out to left field to end the game.

Pitcher Danny Gil started for UM in the second game of the series and held the Gators to two runs on five hits in three innings, but south paw pitcher Eric Erickson came on in relief and allowed five runs.

The Hurricanes were able to salvage the series on Sunday, with a standout performance from Weeks, who went four for five and was a homerun shy of hitting for the cycle. Alonso’s bat also stayed hot, as he recorded three RBIs for the second straight game.

Florida slugger Matt LaPorta led the Gators with two homeruns and five RBIs. With two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, LaPorta represented the tying run, but grounded into a game-ending double play.

For the first time all weekend, the Hurricanes were able to stay consistent at the plate, scoring a season-high ten runs. Their pitching staff struggled once again and they were forced to use four different arms in the game, but whenever the Gators got close, the ‘Canes were able to get the clutch hit to extend the lead.

The Hurricanes move back to .500 with the victory and hold a 4-4 record. Next weekend they host Elon College at Mark Light Field for a three game series.

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