The Florida baseball team fell to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Thursday, 2-1.? Florida out hit FGCU nine to seven but four errors and untimely hitting ultimately doomed the Gators.
It looked to be smooth sailing early on for Florida?s starting pitcher Logan?Shore, as he allowed?only one hit through the first two innings.?? However it was Florida Gulf Coast who drew first blood in the top of the third.? The Eagle second?baseman, leadoff hitter Jake Noll, lined a ball down the left field line in the third inning resulting in an RBI double, driving home shortstop Alex Diaz who reached base on a dropped throw to first base by A.J. Puk.
Noll would add to his RBI total in the fifth, when he took the first pitch he saw up the middle for a single.? Eagle outfielder?Gage Morey would reach home from second on the play, scoring his fifth run of the season.? Morey reached base on a? base hit but got to second on an error by Florida’s Buddy Reed in centerfield.? He was sacrificed to third before scoring on Noll’s hit.? This would be the final run scored by FGCU, but it proved to be enough.
For Florida Gulf Coast, starting pitcher Michael Murray looked comfortable against the offense of the 23rd ranked?Gators.? Murray, just a sophomore, allowed the bases to get loaded with just one out in the first, managing to get out of the inning with no damage allowed.? Murray was able to settle in, retiring a string of 17 out of 20 batters following the first inning.
Murray earned his second win on the year, and his first win against the Gators.? The six foot two inch sophomore from West Palm Beach finished the game with four strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work and 113 pitches thrown.
Murray impressed Florida Head Coach Kevin O?Sullivan.
?Their starter was really good; he kept us off-balance, we had a game plan. We knew he was going to throw breaking balls early on?fastball counts, especially with runners in scoring position. We knew that left-handers were going to get changeups early, and then fastballs with runners in scoring position; we knew that. We were unable to make an adjustment.?
Murray was pulled in the eighth inning and when Braden Mattson?drove in a run with an RBI single, it looked like Florida could rally.? But closer Brady Anderson induced a ground out and only allowed a single in the ninth inning before earning his third save of the year.
Pitching was not the issue for the Gators on this night.? The?six innings that Logan Shore went was the longest start by any Gator this season.? He also set a team single game high for strikeouts with seven.
Florida Head Coach Kevin O?Sullivan was proud of the way Shore pitched?in just his second career start.
?He threw great; he threw well enough to win. I?m really proud of the way he threw the ball.?
Florida now looks ahead to Friday night as they take on Illinois.? Illinois is 2-4 on the season.
You can listen to ESPN 850 WRUF for live coverage at 6:55pm;?Jeff Cardozo and?Steve?Russell will have the call.
for audio on the game, click below.