Hurricanes Defeat the No. 4 Ranked Gators, 5-2 to Remain Undefeated

The Miami Hurricanes (5-0) entered Friday night’s game red hot. The team had scored 46 runs in four games with a team batting average over .350. In addition, pitching had been lights out and that continued Friday night. Evan McKendry was un-hittable for most of the night. He would finish with nine strikeouts and only two runs and four hits through seven innings of work.

Miami’s hitters stayed hot as well. All except one starter for the Canes had at least one hit. The story of the night though was Michael Amditis. Amditis came in to Friday’s game 1-for-10 on the season and responded by going 2-for-4 with the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.

Prior to Amditis and his late game heroics, the Hurricanes held a 2-0 lead. That 2-0 lead came in the top of the second inning. Adrian Del Castillo (.400 batting average) managed to get on base before Alex Toral sent a 2-2 offering into orbit for his seventh homer of the young season.

The gators would not go quietly though. In the bottom of the fourth, Gator shortstop Brady McConnell led off with a double to right field. McKendry looked like he would be able to overcome this but three batters later, Gator first baseman Kendrick Calilao would drive him in to get Florida within one. Two innings later, Florida would tie the game at two on an RBI groundout by Nelson Maldanado.

The tie would not last very long as in the top of the seventh, it was Amditis time. The sophomore catcher from Boca Raton, FL put the Hurricanes back in front with his deep shot to left center.

“It was pure excitement,” Amditis said. “It felt amazing to get my first home run in that spot, especially with all the injuries that have happened. It just felt good to help the team in the biggest way possible.”

The Hurricanes would add another run in that inning when Freddy Zamora placed a beautiful two-out bunt for a base hit. This pushed Jordan Lala across the plate to put Miami up 4-2. The Hurricanes would then add an insurance run in the eighth to get to the final score of 5-2.

Miami has been fantastic in all aspects of the game so far this year. What has impressed me the most has been their ability to work counts and make pitchers work hard for outs. Florida starter, Kevin Dyson threw 90+ pitched Friday night through only four innings! That’s a disciplined approach to hitting by Gino DiMare’s men.

“That’s kind of been our at-bats so far this season, a lot of 3-2 counts and 3-1 counts, going deep and fouling balls off,” DiMare said. “The way I look at it is they’re taxing on the pitcher and there is a lot of effort to the pitcher having to get through it.”

After the game, there was a special moment where Alex Toral and the team presented DiMare with the game ball. Toral said “Congratulations on your first win in Gainesville and hopefully many more to come.”

The Hurricanes will look for the series win tonight at 6:30pm. Sophomore right-hander Chris McMahon (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will take the mound for the Hurricanes and fellow sophomore RHP Tommy Mace (1-0, 2.57 ERA) will have the ball for the Gators. The game can be seen on SEC Network+. Let’s keep the momentum going! Go Canes!