They say hitting is contagious and the Gator baseball team caught the fever. After an embarrassing weekend at LSU, the Gators took their frustrations out on the FAMU Rattlers Monday night defeating them 22-1. Florida’s starting pitcher Justin Shafer had a great night on the mound registering a career-high eight strikeouts over a career-long six innings.
UF started the first inning off with consecutive walks by Richie Martin and Casey Turgeon followed by a single from Taylor Gushue to load the bases. Zack Powers brought home Martin with a sacrifice fly and Josh Tobias was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Harrison Bader was walked, bringing home Turgeon for a 2-0 lead.
The Gators scored six runs on six hits in the bottom of the second. Shafer started it off with a lead-off single and Powers reached on an infield single before a wild pitch moved the runners up. Bader hit a RBI single and Cory Reid did the same for a 4-0 lead. Bader and Reid had a double steal and Cody Dent drew a walk loading the bases. Martin doubled bringing home Bader and Reid and Turgeon scored Dent on a grounder followed by an RBI single by Gushue scoring Martin.
FAMU got their only run of the night from a home run by Aaron Smith off of Shafer, the winning pitcher in the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bader hit a RBI grounder and Dent stepped up to the plate and blasted a home run over the score board for his first ever home run at Florida.
In the fifth, Kevin Stypulkowski opened the inning with a base hit and Powers drew a walk before a single by Bader that scored Stypulkowski.
The Gators added six more runs in the sixth inning for an 18-1 lead. Dent started it off with a walk and Martin followed with a single. A fly ball by pinch hitter Brady Roberson advanced the runners and Stypulkowski brought home Dent with a single. Todd Haskel made his debut with a single to load the bases. Powers hit a single bringing in two and Christian Dicks followed with a home run.
The last four runs of the night for Florida came in the bottom of the eighth. Haskel singled to start the inning and Mike Fahrman, who replaced Powers at third, reached base on a hit by pitch. Tobias singled to load the bases and Dicks delivered a RBI single bringing home Haskel. A throwing error allowed Fahrman to score followed by a sac fly by Dent to bring in pinch runner Aaron Rhodes. Martin also added another sac fly to bring in Dicks for the final run finishing the game at 22-1 for the win.
The Gators will next take on Florida Atlantic University tonight at 7.