In Florida’s sixth win in a row, the Gators baseball team put on an offensive showcase as it beat UNF by a score of 11-2. Once it got going, the offense never took its foot off the gas and the defense never allowed the Ospreys to stay in the game.
After gaining control in the fourth inning, Florida never looked back and stayed aggressive to secure the win. The game started off slow for the away team Gators. Through the first three innings, the team couldn’t register a run. It only scored two hits in that time and wasn’t able capitalize and score on either of them.
While the players were trying to warm up on offense, they were playing well defensively. Pitchers Brandon Sproat and Carsten Finnvold did their jobs and only gave up one hit in the first three innings.
Florida’s batting got the ball rolling in the fourth inning and tallied three runs in the period. With bases loaded, Josh Rivera hit a ground ball to the left side that scored two runners. Mac Guscette then added a run to the scoreboard with a sac fly. Up 3-0, the Gators finally took the lead.
In the fifth inning, Florida managed to add on two runs to the score with only one hit. Three Gators were walked and one was hit by a pitch. Both runs were walked in and Gators baseball was up, 5-0.
In the sixth, Jud Fabian tallied an RBI, and in the seventh, Sterlin Thompson hit a homerun to put Florida up seven runs to none. The team closed the game with homers by Deric Fabian in the eighth and Rivera in the ninth.
The Ospreys finally got on the scoreboard with a run in the eighth and one in the ninth. However, it was too little too late as they found themselves down 11-2 as the game came to a close.
Rivera might have had the performance of the night as he made every hit count. He was 2-4 in the game and added on one run and five RBIs. His five RBIs were enough for a career high and accounted for almost half of the Gators’ score.
In addition to Rivera, Deric Fabian had one of the best games of his young career. The freshman tallied his first three-hit game and first collegiate homerun. He batted 3-4 and had two runs and two RBIs along with his three hits.
The Gators’ pitchers also had a good game, only giving up two runs and four hits. The Gators’ committee of six pitchers had a great team effort to keep the Ospreys quiet offensively. Sproat, Finnvold, Brandon Neely and Blake Purnell kept the home team scoreless through the first seven innings.
Now, the Gators will try to continue to prove why the team started the season ranked as the No. 9 team in the country. After losing the season-opening series to Liberty, dropping to No. 15, Florida has bounced back strong. It has won six in a row and looks to continue that streak.
Gators baseball will face off against FAMU Wednesday at 7 p.m. With SEC play starting March 18, it is important for Florida to rack up as many wins as possible now. If the team can establish some confidence early in the season, it may perform better against its tough conference opponents and climb back to the top of the rankings.