Miami (FL) 7 Jacksonville 2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sophomore Steven Ewing tossed six strong innings and freshman Corey Janson belted his first career home run on Friday, helping the 16th-ranked and No. 2 seed University of Miami Hurricanes defeat No. 3 seed Jacksonville University, 7-2, in the opening game of the Gainesville [Fla.] Regional at McKethan Stadium. The game was the first of several taking place on the opening day of the NCAA Baseball Tournament happening around the nation.
The pitching was the key and the hits came when needed on Friday, as the story of the day came from the pitcher and catcher – helping UMiami (37-21) to the old cliché “Survive and Advance”.
Ewing, a Central Florida native of Orlando, toed the rubber in the biggest game of his career-to-date for the Hurricanes. He allowed just a single earned run on a hit and struck out two while walking three in a strong performance against Jacksonville (36-23). The left-hander was effective in a number of areas, but most importantly he drew a variety of fly balls and collected outs when needed.
Top-seeded Florida (46-16) banged out a school-NCAA Tourney record 23 hits and totaled 16 runs over its first three at bats to overpower fourth-seeded Manhattan (34-18), 17-3, on Friday at McKethan Stadium. Junior Preston Tucker (Tampa, Fla.) (3-for-6, five RBI) belted two-run homers in both the second and third inning, junior Daniel Pigott (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was 4-for-5 with three RBI, junior Tyler Thompson(Tequesta, Fla.) was 4-for-4 and freshman Karsten Whitson (Chipley, Fla.) earned the win to improve to 8-0 on the campaign.
The top-ranked Gators will meet second-seeded Miami (Fla.) (37-21) in a winner’s bracket game at 4 p.m. tomorrow live on ESPNU, while the Jaspers face third-seeded Jacksonville (36-23) in an elimination game at 12 p.m. The Hurricanes downed the Dolphins, 7-2, earlier this afternoon.