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Gator Baseball falls to Hurricanes in opening weekend series finale

Florida pitching issued eight walks in losing effort
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 9:18 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - With the shock and disappointment of Saturday’s meltdown loss behind them, Florida Baseball attempted to rebound and close out the opening weekend series against Miami with a confidence-boosting win.

But that’s not how this game played out.

Hunter Barco took the hill for the No. 1 Gators (1-2), but quickly found himself in a whole he wouldn’t be able to climb out of.

Barco plunked No. 21 Hurricanes (2-1) leadoff hitter Jordan Lala to put the lead man aboard, who eventually stole second. After recording an out Miami recorded a single, a double, and a fielding error by second baseman Corey Acton, that allowed 3 runs to come across to give the Canes an early 3-0 lead.

Barco would only last three-and-a-third innings. He gave up a single run in the second and third inning, and his last earned run came in a three-run fourth inning as Yohandy Morales earned a triple after lacing a Barco pitch down the right field line. In total, Barco was only charged for six earned runs, but gave up a total of 8.

Even though they trailed 8-0 after three-and-a-half innings, the Gators didn’t quit.

Nathan Hickey singled up the middle in his leadoff at bat to begin the bottom of the fourth, which was followed up by a single by Kirby McMullen and Jordan Butler. Butler’s hit brought home Hickey for Florida’s first run of the game.

The orange and blue grabbed another run in the fifth, then scored a pair of runs in the sixth and seventh, but their comeback effort fell flat when Sterlin Thompson hit a rocket line drive that was snagged by Canes first baseman Alex Toral, who then tagged Josh Rivera before he could safely reach first base to complete the twin killing, inning ending, unassisted double play.

Florida drops to 1-2 on the season and will have to put this game behind them and focus on facing North Florida on Tuesday.

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