GAINESVILLE, Florida – No. 6 Florida dropped Game Two against No. 22 Miami, 14-6, at Condron Family Ballpark on Saturday night.
After a two-hour and 50-minute weather delay, Florida starts Hurston Waldrep earned the right to work at the top of the first. The junior right-hander quickly struck out the side in 15 pitches to set the tone early.
Jac Caglianone put the Gators (9-3) on the board in the bottom of the first. After a one-out walk by Langford, Caglianone connected for his ninth home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.
Waldrep produced another shutout in the second before the Canes (8-3) broke through in the third on a solo home run to left by Carlos Perez. The Gators’ righty bounced back right away, striking out Miami in the fourth and fifth while increasing his strikeout total to an eye-popping 12 batters.
After three scoreless innings, the Florida Bats extended the advantage in the fifth. Colby Halter got it going with an RBI triple, followed by a sacrifice fly to right Wyatt Langford. Caglianone put an exclamation point on the frame and singled to straight center for his nation-leading 10th home run of the season to make it 6-1.
Miami answered in the half inning that followed, using a Blake Cyr two-run shot to center to pull within three runs. The Canes picked it up with three more runs in the seventh, highlighted by RBI singles from Yohandy Morales and Cyr.
The Hurricanes grabbed their first lead of the night with a four-run eighth. Renzo Gonzalez led off with a solo homer to right while Cyr drew a bases-loaded walk. Dominic Pitelli then drove in a pair with a double down right field for a 10-6 Miami lead.
Miami tacked on four more runs in the ninth, highlighted by a three-run homer from Cyr to make it 14-6.
Hurricanes reliever Chris Scinta (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief. The southpaw walked one batter.
Fisher Jameson fell to 0-3, giving up three earned runs on three hits in one-third of an inning.
Waldrep (2-0) received a no-decision, allowing five earned runs over six innings of work. He gave up seven hits and two walks, striking out a career-high 14 batters.
Miami starting pitcher Karson Ligon (2-0) was also left with a no-decision, surrendering six earned runs in six innings. The right-hander allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four.
- Saturday’s start time was delayed by two hours and 50 minutes.
- Florida welcomed a crowd of 7,853 fans Saturday night.
- Waldrep set a new career high with 14 strikeouts.
- Waldrep has struck out a total of 27 batters over his previous two outings.
- He is the first Gators pitcher to strike out hitters in double figures in back-to-back starts since another No. 12, Hunter Barcoaccomplished the feat against Liberty (Feb. 18, 2022 – 11) and Georgia State (Feb. 24, 2022 – 12) last season.
- Kurland extended its team-leading hitting streak to 10 games.
- The Gators have 150 hits through 12 games (12.5 hits/game).
- The Gators fall to 131-134-1 all-time against Miami including 78-51-1 at home.
- Florida is 38-17 in the series under the head coach Kevin O’Sullivan with 20-9 in home games.
- UF has won 19 of the last 26 meetings.
FROM HEAD COACH KEVIN O’SULLIVAN
On Waldrep’s outing and he goes out for the seventh…
“I thought he was outstanding. He was 93 pitches. They had six plate appearances a piece, the top two guys, he struck them out five times in six plate appearances. We tried to get through that. Of course we used Cade [Fisher] last night. He hit a guy and got a ground ball in the tree hole, but we still got a five-run lead. It’s very difficult to make decisions when the bullpen is the way it’s been. I thought [Nick Ficarrotta] came in and did a job and got two ground balls. After that it was just, I look at his line, it says he gave up five earned runs the way he pitched. And we get to a point where [Brandon] Neely didn’t quit last night. So he could certainly have a multi-inning save opportunity tonight, pitching eight and ninth.”
In the bullpen…
“Really, all we need to get is three outs. We spread the ball around, the ball didn’t come out of our hands quite like it usually does. The bottom line is we’ve got to figure it out. We need somebody to bridge gaps because the starting pitching ours is really good and we got a guy at the end. Bottom line is three outs. Honestly, I feel bad for Hurston, to be honest with you. If he hadn’t had the success that he did with the leadoff hitter and [CJ] Kayfus, I wouldn’t have driven him back there. It’s hard to make decisions when your bullpen is a little inconsistent.”
“[Fisher Jameson] gave up the home run for them to take the lead, but at least he threw the ball over the plate. He didn’t go people. You can live with that, but not emptying the tank and attacking the strike zone for really just a few outs is disappointing.”
Florida and Miami meet in the series finale on Sunday at 12 p.m. on the SEC Network.