Miami, Florida – It rained in more ways than one as the South Florida Bulls soundly defeated the Miami Hurricanes 10-2, advancing to the regional finals. With the Florida Gators unexpectedly becoming the first team of the group to be eliminated there’s a new favorite in Gainesville. UM’s offense had a few opportunities to scratch more runs including a bases-loaded situation in the seventh but failed to make an impact. They stranded 10 going an abysmal one-for-nine with runners in scoring position. Only two players recorded a pair of hits in the starting lineup while three went hitless. The pitching staff also struggled unable to contain the Bulls who had a big fourth inning just before the lengthy rain delay.

Jake Smith hit a rough patch surrendering five runs (all earned) on five hits through three and a third innings of work. Inclement weather factored into his outing that ultimately forced the bullpen to get involved early. Even then, USF continued to find ways to score.

Early Going

On their first trip to the plate, the Canes went down in order after two tremendous diving catches by centerfielder Roberto Peña. Talk about flashing the leather. South Florida drew first blood at the bottom of the inning with the catcher Jake Sullivan hitting the bases-loaded sac fly. Smith initially struggled a bit giving up a base hit followed by a pair of walks to fill ’em up.

Miami immediately responded.

Christian Del Castillo knocked himself a single eventually making his way to third thanks to Alex Toral hitting one up the middle. It was then that Tony Jenkins smacked the clutch base hit to right field plating Christian to tie it. The Bulls threatened again in the second but Smith got Carmine Lane looking with a nasty breaking ball stranding the runner at third. He followed up with a 1,2,3 third inning.

Rain Rain Go Away

South Florida struck back with five runs in the fourth. With runners at the corners, Nelson Rivera blooped one to center field bringing home Sullivan. Nick Gonzalez made it back-to-back singles driving home Jarrett Eaton who crossed the dish standing. UM turned to its bullpen calling in Andrew Walters but things went from bad to worse. While walking Lane to load the bases bad weather was rolling in. Despite the downpour the umpires kept it going for a time. Riley Hogan popped one deep to left-center field but Jenkins completely lost it in the rain. It turned into a two-run double extending the lead 5-1.

The tarp came on but the damage was done. Coach Gino DiMare was visibly angry over the officials not delaying the game sooner. The long rain delay lasted one hour and 22 minutes. When play resumed Alex McFarlane took over on the mound. He K’ed Peña then walked Daniel Cantu to once again load ’em. A fastball wild pitch brought in another run to make it 6-1. McFarlane fanned Sullivan to finally get out of the inning.

As a man once said: AI YAI YAI.

Momentum Shifter

The bad times kept on rolling for the Canes. USF put up a deuce in the fifth to take a commanding 8-1 lead. With a runner at first Eaton squared up a bunt towards the right side resulting in a throwing error by Toral. The left fielder advanced to second on the play placing two runners in scoring position. Rivera struck again with another RBI single and Eaton scored during the double play.

UM clawed their second run in the seventh but this was quickly negated as South Florida countered with a run of their own. At the end of it all, it seems that this contest was already decided back when the tarp was rolled out. Miami is still alive but will need to play South Alabama again to stave off elimination. The Bulls, meanwhile, advance to the regional finals and are one win away from going to the super regional for the first time.

Game Notes

Dominic Pitelli, Raymond Gil, and Anthony Vilar were the three Canes who went hitless

Andrew Walters faced two batters in the fourth

Miami scored two runs on eight hits committing one error

South Florida scored 10 runs on 11 hits also committing one error

UM used six pitchers in today’s game

Gus Bus Award

Hard to give it to anyone with this loss.

You’re Killing Me Smalls

It was a collective disaster. Nothing went right: the offense, the pitching, the weather. It looks like the baseball gods were not in favor of The U.

Photo Credit | Canes Twitter

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SoccerShape
Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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