The Florida Gators defeated the UNF Ospreys 9-6 on Tuesday night. After a rough weekend versus Miami, the Gators used the game against the Ospreys to get back on track.
Runs Right off the Bat
There’s no way to win a ballgame than by making a statement early. Florida began putting runs on the board right from the first inning. The first run came with bases loaded with one out. Pitcher Jordan Butler flew out to left field, scoring Jud Fabian from third.
A SAC fly brings one in!
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) February 23, 2021
This specific lead would be short lived. A fielding error by Cory Acton allowed UNF’s Cade Westbrook to score and tie the game up 1-1.
The Gators were unfazed. They let UNF have their run, because they weren’t at the plate.
Keeping Them Coming
In the top of the second, Butler, quickly back up to bat, singled up the middle to score Nathan Hickey from second.
This lead would never be relinquished. With two outs, the Gators once again loaded the bases. Unlike on Sunday, they took advantage of it much sooner. Colby Halter tripled to right center field to clear the bases. It’s now 5-1 Florida over UNF.
To give the Ospreys credit, they did try to make it a ball game again, which they did.
To start the fifth inning, Abraham Sequera belted a solo blast to make it 5-2. With Austin Bogart standing on third with one out, Tanner Clark flew out to centerfield to plate Bogart and make it a two-run game.
The sixth inning came and went quietly. In the seventh, however, the Gators got another rally going. Once again, the bases were loaded. Once again, the Gators took no time to take advantage of it.
With one out, Halter picked up another RBI on a fielder’s choice to second base. The score is now 6-3.
With two outs and runners at the corners, Jacob Young doubled to center, making it a five-run game.
.@jypv123 plates two more with a double!
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) February 24, 2021
In the top of the ninth inning, a Fabian RBI single made it 9-3. UNF is down to its final three outs.
Just as Florida thought it was getting out of Jacksonville with a clean win, bullpen woes got them again.
Aiden Sweatt tripled to get Justin Holmes home. It’s 9-4.
Florida pitcher Ben Specht then allowed a two-run bomb to Sequera to make the game a save situation once again. Sully chose to keep Specht in. While leaving the struggling reliever in had been a decision he’d regret already this season, he’d get to exhale tonight.
Specht clawed his way to those final to out to win the ballgame 9-6.
Offense is still doing its job for the Gators, and nothing wrong can be said about it. That being said, on the pitching side, the issues that were plaguing Florida against a ranked Miami happened against an unranked UNF. It’s early. It is still to early to hit the panic button. But there is not convincing anyone that this is a good sign.
Fortunately for Florida, there still time to get back into shape. After all, this Gators team was ranked first unanimously for a reason. They have what it takes to prove it.
The Gators will be back tomorrow against UNF–this time at home. First pitch is at 6 p.m.