In frigid temperatures, Florida center fielder Buddy Reed delivered a two-out, walk-off single in the ninth to send Florida to a 4-3 victory over Miami on Friday night in McKethan Stadium.
Reed, 3 for 5 on the night, blooped a single into shallow center field off Hurricanes freshman lefty Michael Mediavilla (0-1) for his first-career game-winning hit … ever.
“Coach [Kevin] Sullivan told me to win the game for us, and by the grace of God I did,” Reed said.
“It’s a big one. I’ve never felt that [walk-off] feeling before. I honestly didn’t think I got enough of it.”
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With temperatures dipping into the mid-30s, both teams faced early adversity.
Then a pair of shocking pitching changes happened.
Canes lefty ace Andy Suarez was scratched after straining his oblique in pregame warmups.
Meanwhile, UF starter Logan Shore lasted just nine pitches, exiting the freezing night with an undisclosed injury.
The two teams combined to use 10 pitchers, gutting their bullpens for the three-game series that continues tonight at 7:30.
The sixth-ranked Gators (5-0) received excellent relief duty from senior southpaw Bobby Poyner — UF’s Opening Day starter in 2014.
Poyner retired 11 Canes in a row after replacing Shore in the first inning.
He matched a career-high with seven strikeouts but tired in the sixth as the Canes’ bats finally heated up.
Miami (4-2) took a 3-1 lead in the frame, scoring a pair of runs on passed balls and a Daniel Thompson RBI single.
“Logan is our heartbeat. He’s our Friday night guy, but Bobby is a senior and key role player on our team,” Reed said.
“What he did tonight was really special. He battled really hard. I give him credit for this win.”
Meanwhile, UM junior Ryan Otero preformed well in place of Suarez, tossing three scoreless frames — a career high — before balking in a run and giving way to freshman Jesse Lapore.
UF tied the score in the sixth when first baseman A.J. Puk, Saturday’s starting pitcher, knocked a two-out, two-run single against Cooper Hammond.