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)

Bats Go Uncharacteristically Silent in Baseball Loss to FAU

It was a chilly Wednesday night, but the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) dugout brought the heat. The Owls were energetic from start to finish and it shows in how this game ended as FAU beat Florida 3-2 to drop the Gator record to 6-3 on the year.  It was a low-scoring game fueled by good pitching. Franco Aleman takes the loss for the Gators giving up the winning run in the 10th inning.

After coming off a walk-off sweep over Samford with plenty of high-scoring finishes, the Wednesday night loss was atypical for the Orange and Blue.

Silent Night

So far this season, the one consistent thing for the Gators has been their offense. The lowest amount of runs Florida put on the scoreboard this season has been six in a loss to Miami.  On Wednesday, they did not even get half that. Jacob Young provides energy to the offense yet again with two hits.

Two runs crossed the plate off the bat of freshman Colby Halter. A two-run homer from Halter in the second put the Gators ahead. It was Halter’s first collegiate home run.

Meanwhile, the Owls were not necessarily explosive from the plate either. Scoring a run in the first and third, they were also quiet until the 10th inning. Mitchell Hartigan had a two-RBI night; he drove in a run early with a sacrifice fly and his second one was the game winner on a single to center.  However, Hartigan only stepped up to the plate due to a fielding error committed by Florida with two outs. Had the play been made, the 10th inning would have been over and the game still tied.

From the Hill

Pitching was the focal point for this mid-week match up. Right-hander Garrett Milchin started the game for Florida, giving up five hits in three innings with four strikeouts. The bullpen held FAU to just the two runs until the 10th inning. Five relievers kept the Owls off the scoreboard from the fourth inning until the 10th inning.

The Owls did well on the mound as well, allowing the Gators just five total hits.  Reliever Mike Entenza got the win, pitching three innings of scoreless ball.  The Owls broke a 2-2 tie in the 10th inning to win the game.  Wilfredo Alvarez singled and Nolan Schanuel reached on an error on a play that would have ended the inning had it been made.  Mitchell Hartigan followed with a run scoring single and the Gators were retired in order in the bottom of the inning.

Looking Ahead for Florida

Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game that he was disappointed in his team’s effort, especially at the plate.  The Gators are now 6-3 on the season and will host a Florida A&M team that has struggled so far this season.

The first game of a three-game series starts Friday at home. First pitch is at 6:30 pm.

About Alexa Harley

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