Despite the weather, we witnessed one of the fastest sweeps you’ll ever see. Three games in less than 24 hours, and the result is three wins for the Florida Gators.
“I don’t know if that’s ever happened since we’ve been here, actually, less than 24 hours,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I think everybody’s kind of tired. I’m sure Missouri is, as well, but we did just enough to win all three games. We’ve got some things we obviously need to improve on, but at this point in the season when you’re finding ways to win even when you don’t play the cleanest of games is important for your team’s character and mental development.”
The goal was to beat the rain, and they did. If it means anything for Mizzou, the inside of the bus is dry for the way home to Columbia.
Gators Rally to Take The Half of the Doubleheader
The Tigers rocked Gators starter Tommy Mace to jump out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. The Gators had one run to show for themselves until the fifth inning–then it all started to come together.
With the bases loaded, Nathan Hickey walked to score Colby Halter to make it 5-2. Then, Kirby McMullen singled to left to move everyone up 90 feet–and scoring Jodan Carrion. The game is now 5-3. Kendrick Calilao trades an out for a run when he hit a sac-fly to center, plating Jacob Young. Fast-forward two at-bats, Josh Rivera singles to center, sending Hickey and McMullen home and giving the Gators their first lead of the game.
Mizzou would tie it in the sixth, but runs in the sixth and eighth would give the Gators the lead for good. The series is clinched in about 19 hours.
In Game Two, They Hung On
No comeback is necessary for the Gators in game two. However, they had to hang on to complete the sweep.
The Gators took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and never relinquished it. Three runs in the seventh and an insurance run in the eighth seal the deal.
Now, onto the pitching side.
Starter Hunter Barco pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, striking out five. Trey Van Der Weide pitched the last 2 2/3 innings allowing three runs–one earned. A throwing error by Jordan Carrion led to two unearned runs in the ninth. However, Mizzou fell short in their comeback attempt, and the Gators win.
Given that that was the only error in the doubleheader, O’Sullivan said he was satisfied with the defensive showing.
“Colby (Halter) made some really nice plays at third base, and we turned some really, really good double plays with him and Josh (Rivera) today and Jordan (Carrion),” O’Sullivan said. “You’re just trying to find the best offense you possibly can but not sacrifice defense, but I think we’re just getting to a point where when you start playing some of these better teams in the league, you can’t be giving them four and five outs in an inning. It just can’t happen. That’s when those big innings happen, and against really good pitchers it’s hard to recover from.”