The second week of the season is getting longer for the Florida Gators. After back-to-back midweek losses the Gators lost their third in a row at the hands of the visiting Miami Hurricanes on Friday. 5-2.
Florida’s struggles continued with two more errors Friday night, totaling four errors to just three runs scored in their past two games. The team’s hitting woes have continued. The Gators’ starting nine is hitting just 30-138 (.217) this season.
“We tried to do everything to get our offense going,” Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Just in the first inning we dragged, we showed push, we did a hit-and-run with Brady (McConnell), we fouled the ball straight back — it looked like a good pitch to hit — and we stole. We tried to do every possible thing to get our offense going but we need more base runners to get on to get things going.”
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Adrian Del Castillo singled to start the second inning and the red-hot Alex Toral hit a ball as hard as it can be hit on a line over the wall in right field. Toral hit two home runs in the Canes’ midweek win over FAU.
“For the most part I thought my fastball was fine. The one to Toral kind of ran in and he got ahead of it,” Dyson said.
Dyson was more competitive in his second start after lasting just 3.1 innings last weekend against Long Beach State. However, Dyson elevated his pitch count before he was pulled in the fifth inning.
“He threw 92 pitches through four and then you gotta go to the pen early,” Kevin O’Sullivan said of Dyson. “You gotta get into the second half of the game in order to not put so much pressure on our bullpen.”
Starting on Friday nights means you’re setting the tone for the weekend. Dyson, who started on Sundays in 2018 before he was replaced by Jack Leftwich, knows he needs to be better.
“This week has been tough, that’s not a lie. I’ll be honest. It’s been brutal,” Dyson said. “We’ll figure it out. I’ve gotta do a better job of opening the weekend and setting the tone than I did the past two times. The first outing for me was unacceptable and this time too. I’ll get better. Everyone’s going to get better and we’ll figure it out.”
The Gators made a comeback in the fourth inning. Brady McConnell doubled to start the inning. After two consecutive outs freshman Kendrick Calilao hit his first career triple to bring the Gators within one run. Florida tied the game at two in the sixth inning. Austin Langworthy led off with a single and moved to third when McConnell doubled. Langworthy scored on a Maldonado groundout.
Miami didn’t wait long to respond. Michael Amditis launched his first career home run to start the top of the seventh off of Jordan Butler. The Canes scored two more runs to extend their lead to 5-2 on the way to their sixth win of the season. The loss dropped the No. 4 Gators to 3-3 on the season with a game tomorrow at 6:30.
Florida has won four consecutive series against the Hurricanes dating back to 2015. Overall, the Gators have won 12 of the last 15 games and 28 of the last 35 against Miami. They’ll turn to Tommy Mace to get back to level on the weekend.