FILE - In this March 4, 2020, file photo, Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan meets with umpires before the team's NCAA college baseball game against Florida A&M in Gainesville, Fla. The top-ranked Gators are off to a program-record 16-0 start and the only unbeaten team in Division I. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Gators Baseball hope to create a winning streak against the Ospreys

In Action tonight, Florida Gators Baseball (2-2) hosts the University of North Florida Ospreys (1-3) tonight in Florida Ballpark at 7.

After a rough weekend losing the Liberty series 2-1, the Gators drove down to Deland to take on the Stetson Hatters. Having a 1-2 record the Gators looked for this win to put them in a new groove. The Hatters fought hard, but Florida pulled out with an 8-1 win making their record 2-2.

Gators look toward younger players

Coming into Wednesday’s game, the Gators hold a 12-4 record over the Ospreys when playing at home. Under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, their record is 15-5.

At the Stetson game, the Gators put in Timmy Manning as pitch and he had an ERA of 12.00. He did not allow the Hatters to score in the first inning.

Last season, Manning made eight pitching appearances including four starts. In five of his eight games, he helped aid in shutouts.

Switching for Manning, Karl Hartman kept the energy up and aided to another shutout frame.

The lead pitcher of the night was Nick Ficarotta. He pitched 4.2 innings and gave 6 strikeouts.

“You probably saw it tonight,” O’Sullivan said. “Ficarrotta comes off the mound, we scored a couple of runs. He goes out and puts a zero on the board with seven pitches. I’m the first one out the dugout fist-pumping. These types of things are important and they help your teammates perform better.”

Offensively the Gators need to look towards Tucker Talbott and Sterlin Thompson to help create runs. Florida used seven hits and five RBI between both Talbott and Thompson.

Talbott made his collegiate debut Tuesday night and made four hits while up to bat five times. He had one double, two RBI and one run.

“Sometimes we make decisions like that and players make you look smart,” O’Sullivan said. “He’s been around the program. He’s struck out one time the entire fall against our pitchers, so our players have confidence in him.”

For Wednesday’s match-up, Florida should keep Talbott in the cards when creating the lineup.

This season seems like it will be mainly dominated by the younger players and they will help aid the Gators in getting wins.

University of North Florida

Starting out with a rocky start, the Ospreys hold a 1-3 record. Over the weekend, they hosted a series against Presbyterian and won one out of three games. The final game of the series went into 11 innings. Early on in the game, Presbyterian racked up the runs, but the Ospreys were able to tie it up in the eighth inning 3-3. Neither team scored in the tenth inning and Presbyterian scored two runs in the eleventh.

Last night, UNF lost to UCF 3-2. All of Ospreys’ games this season have been decided by three runs or less.

The Ospreys will need to fight hard to stop the Gators from scoring runs Wednesday.

About Molly Cooper

Molly is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports and media and working on a certificate in sports management at the University of Florida.

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