The Florida baseball team fell to Florida Gulf Coast 8-3 Saturday night at McKethan Stadium. The Eagles (4-1) clinched the series win after plating eight runs for the second straight night against the Gators (3-4).
Florida started off the scoring with sophomore outifielder Justin Shafer’s RBI double to center driving in teammate Harrison Bader to give Florida a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Florida freshman right hander Tucker Simpson kept the Eagles off the scoreboard until the top of the fifth. Florida Gulf Coast was able to take a 2-1 lead after Gator southpaw Daniel Gibson came on in relief with two outs in the inning. Simpson went 4.2 innings, allowing three hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out three. He says he felt a lot more at ease than he did in his start last week.
The Gators then handed the ball to righty Ryan Harris in the top of the sixth. Harris surrendered a three run homer to Michael Suchy to give Florida Gulf Coast a 5-1 lead.
The Gators got one run back in the bottom of the sixth after the Eagles walked Vickash Ramjit with the bases loaded scoring Richie Martin, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
The Eagles then answered in the top of the seventh scoring two runs on a pair of triples to take a 7-2 lead. Florida Gulf Coast would tack on another insurance run in the ninth. The Gators plated another run in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t mount the comeback.
Florida’s bullpen surrendered six runs after taking over for Simpson. Simpson says he expects Gator relievers to get back on track.
Florida infielder Zack Powers says the team will keep trying to get better.
Florida looked to salvage the final game of the series on Sunday.