FILE - Florida outfielder Jud Fabian bats during an NCAA college baseball game against Florida A&M in Gainesville, Fla., in this Wednesday, March 4, 2020, file photo. The Gators are in a familiar place as the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason. Fabian might be the best position player in the country. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Gators Out Last Ospreys to Win 9-6

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.

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.

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.

Takeaways

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.

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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