A spiraling season keeps getting worse for Florida.
The Gators made a variety of mistakes throughout a 7-6, 10-inning loss Tuesday night to North Florida at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville. They were victims of a three-game sweep by Florida Gulf Coast last weekend and now have lost five straight to start the year 3-6. The losing streak is their longest since 2008.
Florida rallied with two runs to tie it in the bottom of the ninth before the Ospreys retook the lead on Corey Bass’ RBI double with no outs in the 10th.
The Gators seemed likely to experience at least a slight drop-off this year, but this dismal start is jarring for a program that went to the College World Series each of the past three seasons.
Florida’s issues were glaring in nearly every aspect of Tuesday’s loss. Starting pitcher Keenan Kish exited after reaching his pitch-count limit early in the third inning, walking two batters and hitting another before he left.
The Ospreys (6-2) scored three times that inning to lead 3-0. Mike Vinson, who relieved Kish, allowed two earned runs in three innings and committed a costly balk in the third.
Florida tied it 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth but immediately relinquished the lead.
North Florida broke a 4-all tie with two runs in the sixth off Ryan Harris.
Justin Shafer led the Gators with three hits. Taylor Gushue, Casey Turgeon and Christian Dicks each had two.
UF rebounded from a season-opening loss to Duke by winning three straight. After that, though, it lost to Georgia Southern last week, followed by Florida Gulf Coast’s sweep.
The Gators move on to a critical three-game home series against Miami starting Friday night. The Hurricanes are 8-0, though they are 1-12 against Florida over the past three seasons.
Miami 5, St. Thomas 4: Alex Hernandez’s single with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in Dale Carey, lifting the Hurricanes to a victory over the Bobcats.
Chantz Mack, Alex San Juan and Hernandez all collected two hits for Miami. Michael Broad drove in two runs for the Hurricanes, who improved to 8-0 on the season.
Hernandez’s hit capped off a comeback for the Hurricanes, who trailed most of the game. Broad’s two-run double in the eighth tied the score at 4, and then Hernandez’s single to right field kept Miami unbeaten. Hernandez is a junior shortstop who starred at Palm Beach Central High School. He has hit safely in all eight games this season.
Hurricanes relievers Frank Grandinette, Vince Kossak, Enrique Sosa and AJ Salcines (2-0) pitched 5 2/3 innings, combining for four hits and one earned run allowed.
FAU 9, Florida Gulf Coast 8: The Owls (4-3) scored five runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to erase a three-run deficit and defeat the Eagles (5-1). Michael Suchy had two hits and two RBIs and Brandon Bednar had two hits and two runs for the Owls. Mike Reeves added two RBIs for FAU. Gulf Coast scored three runs in the top of the ninth before the Owls escaped.