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Gators blow five run lead as Hurricanes steal game two of opening weekend series

Miami edges Florida in 13 extra innings
Florida's baseball team huddles together before Saturday's game against Miami.
Florida's baseball team huddles together before Saturday's game against Miami.(WCJB)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 7:26 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The afterglow of the opening day victory for Gator Baseball didn’t last as long as the orange and blue faithful would’ve liked it to.

No. 1 Florida (1-1) held an 8-3 lead entering the top of the seventh against No. 21 Miami (1-1), only to watch it disappear over the final 6 innings as the Hurricanes came back to win 10-9 in 13 innings.

The Gators took a commanding hold of the game early on as Nathan Hickey, who delivered the first hit and run of the new season and ballpark for Florida in last night’s 7-5 win, singled to left field to drive in Jacob Young for the game’s first run in the bottom of the first.

Later in the inning, Josh Rivera slapped a single down the left field line to plate Jordan Butler to make it a 4-0 advantage for the orange and blue.

In the fifth inning, Florida’s lead was down to 5-3, but Kris Armstrong smoked a ball passed Canes third baseman Yohandy Morales down the line in left. Butler came in to score again, which made it 6-3.

The sixth inning brought Hickey to the plate again, and this time he cranked another ball over the wall in right. His second home run in as many nights. The solo shot padded the lead to bring the Gators ahead 8-3. That would be the last runs the Gators would scratch out until extra innings.

Miami patiently worked their way back in to the game by scoring one in the seventh, one in the eighth, and finally, carving out three in the top of the ninth to force the game to extra innings.

Neither team would score until the top of the thirteenth, when Miami pinch hitter Raymond Gil hit a two-seam fastball the opposite way into right field to plate the go-ahead run.

The Canes would also score another run after Florida first baseman Kris Armstrong dropped what would’ve been the third and final out of the inning.

While the Gators did score one to cut the deficit to 10-9, they couldn’t bring home another runner and ended losing 10-9 to drop game two of the weekend series.

The series finale is set for 1 p.m. Sunday.

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