The Florida baseball team goes to 2-0 on the season after blowing out Rhode Island 22-3 Saturday in Gainesville.
Rhode Island actually took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of Florida starter and winner Dane Dunning but that was the only lead it would have on the day. The Gators came right back in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead courtesy of a three run home run from freshman catcher JJ Schwarz who says he has been seeing the ball well.
“I don’t really like to hold expectations for myself, but I was seeing the ball really well and I think it carried over into spring ball,” Schwarz said.
The big offensive day for Florida though came from Harrison Bader who hit two, three run home runs to give him three homers in two games. Ryan Larson also homered as the Gators now have four homers in two games, something it took 17 games to accomplish last season.
Dunning got the win, pitching into the fifth inning before reaching his pitch count at 75 pitches. He had a career high five strikeouts as well.
Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked about the importance of home runs to this team.
“It was obviously an offensive day the wind was blowing straight to that direction (left field) and we got some balls up in the air,” he said. “I think the ball may have something to do with it, I think you’re going to see as the season goes on there is going to be more offensive production.”
Once again a lot of players got to play in the game as freshmen accounted for six hits and seven runs batted in during the contest. O’Sullivan likes what he sees so far from his young players.
“I think they’re playing well, it’s obviously early but we’ve seen all these guys since the start of practice in October so we kind of know what were going to get out of them.”
Florida had a seven run inning and a nine run inning on its way to the win. Florida has scored 31 runs now in two games.
The Gators will look to complete the opening weekend sweep of Rhode Island Sunday with ESPN 850 WRUf providing live coverage at 12:25 pm.
Sound from the game