#1 Florida baseball knocks off #11 Florida State at home Tuesday night… Here’s what you missed pic.twitter.com/1Cq7MJdYdE
— Ben Murphy (@B_murph4) March 16, 2016
The top ranked Florida baseball team shut out the 11th ranked Florida State Seminoles 6-0 on Tuesday in Gainesville in front of the fifth largest home crowd ever at McKethan Stadium. This was the first time Florida shut out FSU at home since March 3, 1994 as the Gators improve to 18-1 on the season, while the Seminoles fall to 13-4.
Florida pitching was strong with starter Dane Dunning leading the charge. Dunning pitched 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits while striking out five batters. The Gator defense helped Dunning out by turning a season high three double plays to move Dunning to 2-0 on the season. Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan says he liked what he saw from Dunning and that he was sharp.
Freshman Jackson Kowar came on in relief in the sixth and went on to pitch two innings, giving up just one hit and striking out three. Shaun Anderson and Kirby Snead finished the game for Florida giving the team their fourth shutout this season.
Offensively the Orange and Blue hit a couple of home runs in the first three innings to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Nelson Mandonaldo blasted a solo shot to left in the second, and Pete Alonso hit a two run blast in the third extending the Gators lead. Maldonado says he knew the ball was gone right when he hit it.
Florida added a couple of insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings. JJ Schwarz drove in Buddy Reed with a single to center in the fourth. In the fifth Jonathan India brought home Mike Rivera with an RBI hit and Jeremy Vasquez scored on a wild pitch. Freshman Deacon Liput reached base in this game, still making him the only player to reach base in every game this year for Florida. Maldonado says it gives the team and Dane confidence when they can jump out to an early lead.
UF opens up SEC play next when they host the Missouri Tigers this weekend for a three game series.