Final: Florida 5, Miami 3

Photo by Kristen Oliff /

In 2019, Florida’s pitching staff was the worst in the SEC. However, they are proving early on that the staff might just be a strength in 2020.

On Sunday, the Gators received another dominant performance on the mound, despite starting freshman Hunter Barco for just the second time of his collegiate career.

The talented lefty tossed 5.1 innings, allowing only one run and two hits while striking out seven to earn the first win of his career, a 5-3 decision over rival Miami that clinched a sweep in the series.

How It Happened:

Florida started the game fast. Jordan Bulter hit a double down the right field line and scored on a Jacob Young single three batters later. A botched play by Miami and a hustle play by Kirby McMullen gave the Gators their second run. Nathan Hickey reached on a fielder’s choice, but Young beat the throw to second, McMullen turned third with a full head of steam and scored easily.

Freshman Josh Rivera added to the lead with a no-doubt homer to left.

Barco ran into some trouble in the fourth, opening with a walk to Tony Jenkins. Adrian Del Castillo hit a blooper that found a home in shallow left field to advance Jenkins to third. Raymond Gil hit a liner that was nabbed by Kendrick Calilao, but the diving effort allowed the run to score easily. With two on and two out, Barco was able to escape further trouble forcing Alex Toral to fly out to Calilao.

With the lead having shrunk to just two, Florida was looking for a response. They received just that on a solo bomb by sophomore Jud Fabian.

Miami got a pair back in the eighth on a two-run blast by Gil, that closed the gap to 4-3.

Once again, the Gators responded as Rivera singled up the middle to score Young and give Florida some insurance.

Ryan Cabarcas pitched the final two innings to earn the save. He allowed a two out walk in the ninth, but struck out Jenkins looking to end the series.

Individual Stats:

  • Barco: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Young: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI
  • Rivera: 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI

Pitching Decision:

  • W: Hunter Barco (1-0)
  • L: Slade Cecconi (1-1)
  • S: Ryan Cabarcas (1)

What’s Next:

The Gators return to the friendly confines of McKethan Stadium on Tuesday to take in FAMU in midweek action before traveling to Deland on Wednesday for a matchup with Stetson.

Florida then returns home to face Troy in a three game weekend series that opens Friday evening.