The top ranked Florida baseball game finished off a weekend sweep over the Harvard Crimson by sweeping a doubleheader on Saturday 9-2 and 3-1 to improve to to 17-1 on the season. The Crimson are now 2-5 on the season.
In the first game, Florida starting pitcher AJ Puk pitched into the sixth inning and Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan believes Puk made progress in his mound performance and gave the team a great start. Brady Singer relieved and pitched 2.2 innings to get the win in relief. Freshman Nelson Maldonado hit his first career home run and Pete Alonso also went yard for the Gators in the first game.
The story of the second game was Gator starter Alex Faedo, who pitched into the ninth inning, giving up just one run while striking out a career high 13 batters. He was helped defensively in the seventh inning after Harvard’s Josh Ellis singled and stole second. Patrick McColl hit what looked to be a bloop single to center but Nick Horvath dove and caught the ball and came out to throw out Ellis getting back to second to snuff out a rally.
In a scoreless game in the bottom of the seventh, Florida pushed across three runs. Pete Alonso singled as did Jeremy Vasquez and Mike Rivera’s sacrifice advanced the runners to second and third. Nelson Maldonado would then double to right center field, bringing in two runs. Maldonado say’s he knew he had to get the ball up and he was lucky to fall in the gap to put runs up for the Gators. Christian Hicks then came to the plate and doubled to left center. Nick Horvath would finish off the scoring in the inning with a nifty suicide squeeze to bring in Maldonado for 3-0 lead.
Faedo was relieved in the ninth inning by lefty Kirby Snead who picked up his first save of the year and Faedo says he tried to keep the ball down to prevent hits and it worked. Snead gave up an RBI single after Trent Bryan doubled off Faedo but he retired the side and the Gators got the win.
Up next, the Gators will host FSU in a Tuesday night game starting at 7 p.m. O’Sullivan knows this will be a tough match-up but just wants his player to go out, play ball, and have fun. Hear live coverage on ESPN Gainesville 95.3.