Florida's Jordan Butler pitches to a North Florida batter during an NCAA college baseball game Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Gators Baseball Visits Stetson for Midweek Game

The No. 9 Florida Gators baseball team (33-14, 15-9 SEC) takes a trip to Stetson (24-20, 10-8 ASUN) for a midweek matchup on Tuesday night. The first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Relief pitcher Garner Spoljaric (0-0, 6.75) will get the start on the mound for the Hatters. Florida has yet to announce their starting pitcher for tonight’s game.

The two teams met last week Tuesday for a midweek meeting at Florida Ballpark. Stetson jumped out to an early lead with two homeruns in the top of the first. However, the Gators responded with a strong second inning to regain the lead.

The Florida offense took control in the bottom of the fifth to secure a 9-6 victory for the Gators. Nathan Hickey and Kris Armstrong led the Gators with two RBIs each.

Here Come the Gators

After the midweek victory, Florida took the road for an away series with the Kentucky Wildcats. Florida took the series in Game 3 after winning the final two games of the series.

Florida dropped the first game in a close match. Kentucky jumped out to a large five run lead in the bottom of the fifth. The Gators battled back to tie the game 5-5 in the top of the seventh. However, the Wildcats got the last word with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to secure a 7-5 victory.

Game 2 featured a 8-5 victory behind a strong ninth inning at bat. An RBI single from Cory Acton followed by a three-run RBI homer from Kendrick Calilao gave the Gators an 8-5 victory to tie the series. Pitcher Tommy Mace threw for seven innings, striking out nine batters while allowing eight hits and four runs.

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In a winner-take-all Game 3, an impressive performance from pitcher Hunter Barco lead Florida to a 9-2 victory. Barco went 6.2 innings, striking out 10 batters while giving up two hits and zero runs. Jacob Young went four of five at the plate while tacking on four RBIs. Hickey followed up with two RBIs.

Previewing Stetson

Following the midweek meeting with Florida, Stetson turned their attention to a weekend series with North Florida. The Hatters dropped the series to the Ospreys falling in Games 1 and 2.

Stetson kept things close in the first game falling 6-5 after the Ospreys scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth. The Hatters dropped another close one on Saturday, falling 5-3. However, Stetson took a Game 3 victory, 5-4, to avoid the series sweep.

Stetson’s Hernen Sardinas and Andrew MacNeil are heavy hitters for the Hatter’s offense. In their last meeting with Florida, Sardinas and MacNeil each recorded two home runs.

Sardinas is Stetson’s leading hitter with 58 hits, including eight home runs and 45 RBIs. MacNeil ranks just below with 52 hits and records 29 RBIs and seven home runs.

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