Last night Florida baseball faced Missouri in game one of their last regular season series. Going into last night’s game the Gators were sitting at 11-16 in conference play. Many would say that this is a must win series if the Gators want to advance into the College World Series. They started the series off strong and came out with a game one win.
With Tommy Mace on the mound for the Gators, it was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. Chad McDaniel scored on a sac fly and the Tigers were up 1-0.
It didn’t take long for the Gators to bounce back. They scored four runs in the 5th inning. Cory Acton and Jud Fabian, both freshman, hit two-run home runs. In the sixth Brady Smith added another run to Florida’s lead. It was then 5-1.
Mace and the Gators ran into some trouble in the seventh. The Tigers’ first two batters had hits then Mace walked two. Missouri scored three runs in their attempt at a comeback, one of which was on an error from Jacob Young. With the bases loaded Coach Kevin O’Sullivan pulled Mace and sophomore Jordan Butler came in for relief. He escaped what could have been a disaster for the Gators and pitched a strikeout that ended the seventh inning.
Butler then earned his first save of the season as he pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth inning. Florida survived 5-4.
In response to Butler’s performance coach O’Sullivan stated:
“Certainly with the way he threw tonight it will be a step in the right direction moving forward.”
#Gators picked up the W on Thursday in a must-win series opener at No. 22 Missouri
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) May 17, 2019
The Tigers and Gators will meet for game two at 7:30 pm tonight in Columbia, Missouri. Jack Leftwich will be on the mound for Florida and TJ Sikkema will start for Missouri.
Game three is set for 3 pm on Saturday.