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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

No. 1 Florida clinches series vs. No. 24 Miami

394 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

Florida clinched the series with an 8-2 win at Miami on Saturday night.

The Gators loaded the bases in the top of the first with one out and Jonathan India worked the count full and drew a walk to score the game's opening run.

Florida took another freebie to make it 2-0 when Blake Reese was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

In the third, Miami took advantage of a pair of walks and cut into the deficit with a RBI single from Romy Gonzalez to make it 2-1.

The Hurricanes had three-straight, one-out singles in the fourth to load the bases. Jackson Kowar hit the next batter to bring in the tying run, but the Gators escaped with a double play to end the threat.

The Gators regained the lead in the sixth inning. Keenan Bell singled to short, breaking up a streak of 10 consecutive hitters retired. Blake Reese followed with his second triple of the year to score Bell from first.

Reese came in to score on a passed ball to make it 4-2 in the sixth inning.

Kowar was replaced after six solid innings, giving way to freshman Jack Leftwich. Kowar allowed two runs on five hits and improved to 2-0 on the season.

Florida added two more runs to take a comfortable lead in the eighth inning, once again taking advantage of Miami's mistakes. An error and two walks led to one run and Brady Smith's sac fly made it 6-2.

The Gators added two more runs in the ninth on India's RBI double and a RBI single from Reese.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jack Leftwich - After taking over to start the seventh inning, Leftwich retired all nine batters he faced, striking out six of them.

FROM THE COACH: Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan on the team's performance - "We did just enough offensively. We made some mistakes. We missed some signs, we were running with Keenan Bell and he didn't take off with a 3-2 count. Fortunate for us, Blake hits the ball down the right field corner to score but it shouldn't have been that close. "Nelly had a couple hits again and India, it was good to see him get a couple hits. Blake Reese, he's playing really well, making the most of his opportunities early in the season. "I thought Jackson worked himself into a couple jams, but his stuff is so good he can work himself out of it. The big double play ball to end the inning was big at that time. Obviously, Jack Leftwich, what can I say, it was kind of a repeat performance that we say last night from Tommy Mace. The poise that those two have shown is amazing. It gives us some flexibility now with Tyler starting tomorrow. We can get Hunter McMullen back out on the mound and use Michael Byrne multiple innings if we need to."

STANDOUT STAT: 7.0 - Freshmen Jack Leftwich and Tommy Mace have combined for seven innings of work out of the bullpen against Miami without allowing a hit.

UP NEXT: Florida and Miami will meet wrap up the series on Sunday at 12 p.m. Sophomore Tyler Dyson looks to improve to 2-0 on the year against Miami's Evan McKendry. The game will be available for streaming on WatchESPN. Live radio will be broadcast via the Gators IMG Sports Network.