The Florida baseball team earned its 11th?victory and fifth win in a row Wednesday night with a win over the Illinois State Redbirds 13-5.
s Josh Tobias got the scoring going for Florida when he doubled in the third inning.?? After a?Buddy Reed sacrifice advanced Tobias to third, a passed ball?during a Richie Martin at bat allowed Tobias to reach home, giving the Gators an early 1-0 lead.
Damage was?done in the third as both Martin and Casey Turgeon reached base in the inning.? With two men on and two outs, junior Taylor Gushue grounded a ball down the right field line resulting in a double, driving in the two runners.
Illinois State would push for an early comeback in the next half inning.? With two outs and the bases loaded, Redbird redshirt junior Brock Stewart would step in to the plate, a spot that Florida?s freshman pitcher Brett Morales had proven to struggle in early on in the season.? ?Past struggles did not faze the 6 foot 1 right-hander, as he fanned?Stewart on a 3-2 pitch ending the inning, escaping the jam.
The Redbirds would reach the scoreboard in the fifth, in the last inning Morales would work, to cut their deficit to 3-1.??Morales lasted 4.1 innings?giving up four hits and allowing one earned run.? Southpaw Danny Young (2-0) came on in?relief going 1.2 innings and giving up one hit while getting the win on the mound as well.
Florida head coach Kevin O?Sullivan was satisfied with Morales? start.
?The most important thing is getting the win and I thought Brett (Morales) gave us a really good start. He commanded the strike zone, he threw all of his three pitches for strikes and it was certainly a step in the right direction for him and more of like what we had seen early in the preseason,? O’Sullivan said.
The Florida bats rallied again in the bottom of the fifth for their second three run inning of the game.? Peter Alonso drove in?his fourth run on the season with a one out single to left that scored Richie Martin.? Taylor Gushue then launched his third?homer of the season, taking a 1-1 pitch with two outs to deep left field,?stretching Florida?s lead to 6-1.
Illinois State made a late push in the 8th with a four run inning, one in which the Gators used five different pitchers, to cut their?deficit to?6-5.
But in the bottom of the inning, Florida scored seven runs to?put the game away.? The inning was highlighted by a grand slam home run by?Casey Turgeon.
It was the first time since April 26, 2013 that Turgeon went yard.
?I just tried to keep it simple as always. I put a good swing on it and got it up in the air, put a little backspin on it, and it did it. I didn?t think I hit it very well, but you never know what those flags are doing. It?s blowing pretty well,” Turgeon said of his home run.
Florida now looks to start its SEC season with a three game home series with Arkansas beginning on Friday night.
Sound from the game can be heard below