The early-season jitters appeared to be shaken off by the second ranked Gator baseball team Saturday afternoon as they ran away with an 8-1 victory over William and Mary. Sophomore right handed pitcher Brady Singer started the game off by giving the Gators the momentum they were looking for after their 5-4 victory from the night before. Singer struck out the first two hitters he faced on the mound. Singer says he enjoyed his first career Saturday start. The right-handed pitcher had a total of 82 pitches in five innings and finished with six strikeouts on the afternoon.
The Tribe took their first and only lead of the game after senior Matthew Tilley had an RBI ground out to first base to score Ryder Miconi. This gave William and Mary the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Gators were quick to respond offensively. Junior first baseman JJ Schwarz hit a grounder past second and sophomore right fielder Nelson Maldonado was walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch from the Tribe’s sophomore left-handed pitcher Bodie Sheehan. Ryan Larson would go on to score both runs with a single to left field.
Florida went up 2-1 and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
The Gators were threatening in the bottom of the third when they had runners on the corners when sophomore third baseman Jonathan India hit an RBI single to score Dalton Guthrie. A balk sent India to second and Deacon Liput to third. JJ Schwarz took advantage of the opportunity and knocked in Liput with a sacrifice fly and Mike Rivera hit an RBI grounder to score India. The Gators took the lead 5-1.
Singer and the Gators continued to cruise through the fourth and fifth inning. Singer struck out the side in the fourth and Dalton Guthrie and Deacon Liput turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the fifth inning.
Coach Kevin O’Sullivan says that the team’s defensive performance is something that he liked to see.
In the bottom of the eighth, India hit a two run homer to close the Gator scoring on the day. This was the first home run for the Gators this season and extended their lead 8-1.
Freshman Austin Langworthy showed his versatility in the game tonight. He pitched in relief and threw 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts and on offense, he had his first career hit and his first stolen base.
Deacon Liput went 2 for-5 and scored twice on the afternoon while JJ Schwarz finished 3 for 3 with two RBI.
Jonathan India had a strong performance at the plate on Saturday going 3 for 5 with three RBI and two runs scored.
The Gators will finish out their season opening series tomorrow at 1 p.m. You can catch coverage live here on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF.