Gator Baseball Wins SEC Opener In Walk-Off Fashion

It took extra innings, but the top ranked Florida baseball team (19-1, 1-0) takes down the Missouri Tigers (14-7, 0-1) 4-3 in their first SEC game of the season. Florida has now won their last 13 games and remains undefeated at home (14-0). Logan Shore got the win on the mound, striking out a career high 10 batters.

The Gators wasted no time getting on the board scoring three runs in the bottom half of the first. Deacon Liput hit a two-out single to right field that scored Dalton Guthrie and Mike Rivera followed with a single that drove in JJ Schwarz and Liput to extend the Gator lead to 3-0. With his single in the first, Liput has l reached base in every game this season.

Missouri pitcher Reggie McClain would settle down after the first and hold the Gators scoreless the rest of the game. McClain pitched nine innings, giving up seven hits while striking out eight. Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan compliments McClain’s ability to adjust after the first.

The Tigers cut the Gators lead down in the fourth with a two-out RBI single from sophomore Shane Benes and they would score another run in the sixth to make it a 3-2 game.

With Florida one out away from victory in the ninth inning, junior Jake Ring hit a single to left off freshman Brady Singer to tie things up 3-3. The Gators failed to score in the ninth, moving things to extra innings.

Junior Shaun Anderson struck out the side in the 10th giving Florida a season high 18 strikeouts in the game. Nick Horvath drew a lead-off walk in the bottom half of the frame and he advanced to second on a grounder from Dalton Guthrie. Buddy Reed and JJ Schwarz got back to back walks to bring up Pete Alonso with two outs and the bases loaded.  On a 3-2 count, Alonso roped a single to left field giving the Gators their third walk-off the season. Alonso says he was looking for a ball low in the zone to hit.

AJ Puk (0-1, 2.65) takes the mound for the Orange and Blue Saturday and will go up against right-hander Tanner Houck (2-1, 1.61). Game time is set for 7 p.m. but you can tune into ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM at 6:55 p.m. to hear Jeff Cardozzo and Steve Russell call of the game.

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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