The Florida baseball team redeemed itself?in front of a crowd of?4,157 Saturday night after dropping the first two games of the double round-robin tournament.
With a score of 4-0, the Gators won for the first time since they returned home from the Miami series, recording their second shutout of the season.
Redshirt junior Karsten Whitson made the start for Florida, going five innings and allowing only one hit to pick up the win.??Sophomore Aaron Rhodes closed out the game for the Gators, setting career-highs in innings pitched with four and for strikeouts with four.
The two righties combined for a three-hit shutout against Florida Gulf Coast, after losing 2-1 to the Eagles Thursday evening.
The Gators also saw a significant change in offense. Fans were treated to a bunting bonanza in the bottom of the fourth that helped plate two runs.??With two men on base and no outs, junior Josh Tobias hit a sacrifice bunt to move up the runners, followed by an RBI bunt single by freshman Ryan Larson. Junior Zack Powers followed suit with a sac bunt to score Florida’s second run.
After a few quiet innings, the Gators added some insurance runs in the seventh with?RBI? doubles from juniors Casey Turgeon and Taylor Gushue.
Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan was pleased with the overall outcome.
“It was nice to get on the board, nice to get a lead, to be honest with you. It was a different feeling, so [I] feel better about that and I really like the way we made some adjustments about the third time through the order…and we got some big hits with runners in scoring position,” O’Sullivan said.
It’s been a long weekend for the Gators, but they’re not done just yet. Florida will close out the weekend facing Illinois Sunday?afternoon, with freshman lefty A.J. Puk on the mound.
Live coverage of the game can be heard on ESPN 850 WRUF starting at 12:55.
For more comments in regards to Saturday’s game, click the links below.
Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan
Junior Shortstop Casey Turgeon
Junior RHP Karsten Whitson