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JJ Schwarz Historic Night Leads Gator Baseball to Victory

JJ Schwarz set a Florida Gator record with four home runs and fellow freshman Dalton Guthrie hit his first two career home runs as the Florida baseball team crushed the Stetson Hatters 22-2 Tuesday night. The 10th ranked Gators move to 25-9 on the season, while Stetson falls to 18-16. The Gators got things going quickly, in the bottom of the first inning Guthrie launched his first career home-run. This was Florida’s first lead-off home run since the 2013 season when Casey Turgeon hit one against Jacksonville. Stetson would add two runs of their own the next inning off left-hander Danny Young. The Hatters scored on an RBI grounder by junior Will Mackenzie to tie things up at one. Young was then replaced by freshmen Alex Faedo who threw a wild pitch that scored the go-ahead run for Stetson. The Gators would not be down long though as they tallied on five runs of their own in the home half of the inning. Sophomore Buddy Reed reached second on a fielder’s choice and an error and then JJ Schwarz came up next and knocked his first home run of the night to left field. Later in the inning a couple of doubles gave the Gators three more runs; Richie Martin hit one down the left field line to score two and Harrison Bader hit his own to left-center that scored Martin. Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan says the team gained confidence from its hitting spree. “We got nine hits the last two games Saturday and Sunday at Missouri. We got a little frustrated with how we were swinging the bats, but then 48 hours later you have a night like this. More than anything confidence-wise guys who may not have been swinging the bat great are feeling better about themselves going into the weekend.” A rain storm delayed the game for an hour but when play resumed in the bottom of the third the Gators kept pouring it on. Reed walked to start the inning, then Schwarz cranked his second home-run of the night to deep-left field pushing the Gators lead to 8-2. Schwarz wouldn’t slow down either; the next inning he gave the Gators an 11-2 lead after hitting a three-run bomb. Schwarz says it was good for him and the team to be productive offensively. “Before the game, the coaches were telling us that we have to be more aggressive with our

swings and hit more fastballs. That’s exactly what we did tonight. I think this is really good from a confidence standpoint leading up to this weekend.” The Gators would hit three more home runs on the night including Dalton Guthrie’s second of the night, Bader’s ninth of the season, and Schwarz’s historic fourth one of the night. Schwarz totaled 10 RBI’s by the end of the night; just one shy of tying the all-time record for the Gators. Guthrie says he’s not used to hitting many home runs. “I don’t have many games where I hit one [home run] to be honest. I haven’t done this before.” The Gators tallied 22 total hits on the night while holding the Hatters to only nine. Up next for Florida is SEC rival South Carolina. Game one of the three game series is this Friday with first pitch set for 7. Live action starts here on ESPN 850 WRUF at 6:55. Click below to listen for sound from the game. Guthrie on getting his first career home runs Schwarz on team batting more aggressively Schwarz on teams confidence being boosted Sully on the teams bats coming alive

About Sean McKenna

Im a senior at the University of Florida currently pursuing a degree in Telecommunications. I work for ESPN Gainesville 95.3 and anchor the Monday sports broadcast for WUFT First At Five. Im from New York and an avid sports fan of all New York teams.

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