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Early Season Baseball Showdown Begins Friday For UM, UF

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The University of Miami Hurricanes baseball team will square off against their in-state rivals from The University of Florida starting Friday night in a key early-season series.

No. 6 UF will look to continue its early season success when it starts a three-game series against No. 8 Miami (4-1) at 7 p.m.

Florida is currently third in the SEC in slugging percentage at .583.

But Miami leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in 14 different categories, including runs (48), hits (53) and RBIs (43).

UM's Friday night starter, lefty Andy Suarez, was named a 2015 preseason All-American and enters this season after throwing a complete game shutout in last May's NCAA regional matchup against Bethune-Cookman.

Suarez will have to contain an emerging Florida lineup that is feeling confident after notching 22 runs against Rhode Island on Saturday, currently an SEC high.

The Gators will start right-hander Logan Shore.

Last season, Miami notched its first series win (two of three) over Florida since 2008, as the Gators (4-0) have won 17 of the past 21 meetings.

Florida ended UM's season three consecutive years from 2009-11, and both teams expect the intensity level to ratchet up for a meeting a week into the 2015 campaign.

Both teams have opened the 2015 season with offensive outbursts, with UF outscoring opponents 50-8 with seven home runs and a team ERA of 1.25.

Miami suffered a midweek loss to Florida Atlantic, but the Canes tallied 53 hits (22 extra-base knocks) in its four-game sweep against Rutgers.

Now, the two rivals are eager to measure themselves against increased competition.

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