Hurricanes baseball avoids no-hitter, falls to Gators 7-3

It wasn’t one of Chris Barr’s greatest hits of his career, but his bloop single over the shortstop in the ninth inning was the No. 6 Hurricanes’ best moment in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the No. 1 Gators at Mark Light Field. The junior first baseman’s shot just over the glove of Dalton Guthrie was the Canes’ first hit on Sunday afternoon, extending Miami’s nearly 52-year-old streak with at least one hit to 3,181 consecutive games.

The Canes were last no-hit back on April 18, 1964, in Ron Fraser’s second season as head coach.

“We didn’t know about that streak, but I’m glad that the streak is still going,” Barr said. “[The no-hitter] was in the back of our heads. Getting that hit any way possible – I was even thinking about bunting if we had to get a hit, but we wanted to get that hit.”

Sophomore right-hander Alex Faedo (2-0) started for the Gators and struck out 12 batters to go with two walks and no hits allowed in 6.1 innings. His previous career-high for strikeouts was seven, which he matched in the third inning. Junior left-hander Kirby Snead came in for Faedo and added three more strikeouts of his own in 1.2 innings pitched. The Canes (5-2) struck out 17 times in 31 total at-bats.

Junior closer Shaun Anderson came in for Snead in the ninth and gave up all three of Miami’s hits as well as runs. Junior shortstop Johnny Ruiz, Miami’s hottest hitter coming into the game with a .526 batting average, smoked a bases-clearing double down the left field line to score the team’s only runs of the game.

“[Faedo] mixed it up good, but we had to adjust and there’s no excuse about that. He pitched well, but we didn’t make any adjustments,” Ruiz said.

The Gators jumped on junior Danny Garcia (1-1) early, scoring one run in the first and two in the second. Freshman Andrew Cabezas came in for Garcia with one out in the sixth after the starter gave up two singles. Cabezas limited the damage to just a single run but then gave up three in the seventh on a two-RBI triple by JJ Schwarz followed by a sac-fly from Peter Alonso.

The near no-hitter clinched the series for Florida (7-1), which won Friday’s game 5-0. The Canes took Saturday’s matchup 5-3 to avoid the sweep.

“We just have got to play better. You’ve got to learn from games like this,” Miami Head Coach Jim Morris said. “We’ve had games early in the season and you’ve got to make early adjustments and try to see what you’ve got to do to get better. Good clubs let you know that. If you play bad people, they put no pressure on you and you don’t find out anything.”

The Canes next play the Miami Marlins in an exhibition game at 1:05 p.m. on Tuesday in Jupiter.