Missouri avoided a sweep in an SEC baseball series against Florida with an 8-2 win on Sunday, snapping Florida’s eight-game winning streak.
Freshman Tucker Simpson started on the mound for the Gators, and he fell behind after one pitch as leadoff hitter Logan Pearson homered to begin the opening frame. Casey Munson followed with a bunt single and advanced on a throwing error by third baseman Zack Powers. After Simpson struck out the next two batters, Dylan Kelly hit an RBI single to score Munson, but he was thrown out trying to go to second as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead, the third-straight time they had scored first in the series.
A key inning in the game was the fourth. Florida put runners on second and third with no one out, but Conner Mitchell struck out, Harrison Bader flew out to right field and Cody Dent grounded out as the Gators failed on a golden opportunity to score.
The Gators scored in the fifth as Taylor Gushue hit his fourth homer of the year, his first since the Vanderbilt series, to cut the Missouri lead to 2-1.
However, the Tigers expanded their lead to 4-1 in the sixth. Keaton Steele was hit with one out, and Kelly sliced a single to left. The Gators changed pitchers as Justin Shafer took the mound for reliever Parker Danciu (2.2 IP, 3 H, 2R, 1ER). An error by Powers on a grounder by Kendall Keeton brought Steele across for a run. Josh Lester hit a single to load the bases with one out, and Scott Sommerfield brought home Kelly with a fielder’s choice.
Missouri added two more runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth, and the Gators scored their final run in the ninth. Brady Roberson had a pinch-hit single with one out, and he went to third on a throwing error on a pinch-hit single by Cory Reid. Casey Turgeon hit a fielder’s choice grounder that scored Roberson.
Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan said that Missouri played well and deserved the win.
O’Sullivan added that the Gators needed to simply put the ball in play and just couldn’t do it.
Although the Gators snapped their eight-game win-streak, O’Sullivan believes the team will start a new one.
The Gators return home to face USF ( 26-14/10-2 Big East) Tuesday at 7 p.m. USF is on a 12-game winning streak and leads the Big East.