Photo by Anissa Dimilta

Fabian, Milchin Shine As Gator Baseball Routs FAMU

The lights of Florida Ball Park flickered as Jud Fabian ran home, celebrating his second home run of the season. Three pitches and one at-bat later, second baseman Sterlin Thompson homered to right field.

From left to right field, respectively, the Florida baseball squad (8-2) took a 2-0 lead over Florida A&M (5-4) in the first inning.

That would not be the last time the lights flickered over the Florida Ballpark on Wednesday night. The Gators posted their highest-scoring performance since March 12, 2019, against Florida State, dominating the Rattlers 17-0.

Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said it’s just one game, so he’s not reading too far into it. At the same time, he’s been saying this is a strong offensive team despite losing two of three games to Liberty to open the season.

He said he was excited about six freshmen getting in the game and playing well. Freshman Philip Abner bounced back from a less than ideal start to the season (12.27 ERA coming into Wednesday) to pitch a clean inning in relief.  O’Sullivan also highlighted freshmen Karl Hartman for throwing two clean innings, and Anthony Ursitti, one.

Not to mention the starter.

Milchin on the Mound

Through five innings, right-hander Garrett Milchin allowed only two hits. The sixth-year graduate student lowered his earned run average to 1.12 with his five shutout innings of work.  After the game, he spoke about how great it feels to play after going through two Tommy John surgeries.

The Rattlers, meanwhile, consistently rotated pitchers, giving each one an inning on the mound through the first four innings and in total, using 10 through eight innings.

Milchin kept a no-hit bid alive early but TJ Hanchey terminated it with a double to right field in the fourth inning.

The Fourth Inning: It Was Over Until it Wasn’t

It was only a 2-0 Gator lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning but that’s when the Gator bats would come alive.  Freshman Deric Fabian doubled and catcher Rene Lastres brought him in with a powerful hit to center field. The Gators jumped ahead 3-0.  Later, Jud Fabian walked with the bases loaded to give Florida a 4-0 lead.

They Flickered Again

In the fifth inning, Florida would score three more runs thanks to a three run pinch hit homer by BT Riopelle.  Milchin said having 12 different Gators get hits, along with eight scoring runs, boosts team morale– and it showed via their locker room celebration.

Fabian and the High Scoring Show

The Gators would continue to pile on runs.  Jud Fabian cracked a home run in the sixth inning, his second of the night, and Florida would score three runs in the inning.  In the seventh inning, Colby Halter’s homer keyed another three run inning for Florida.  And in the eighth inning, Florida scored four more runs, three of them scoring on a home run by Corey Robinson, who got his first hit in a Gator uniform during the game.  

In the bottom of the eighth, freshman Jorge De Goti posted his first career hit as well as the Gators emptied their bench.  In all, the Gator offense scored 17 runs on 21 hits with Jud Fabian and Sterlin Thompson leading the way with three hits each.  The Gators also blasted six homers in the contest.  

What’s Next

The Gators travel to Coral Gables, Florida, to battle their rival Miami (7-1). The three-game series begins Friday at 7 p.m and you can listen to all the games on ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF.  

O’Sullivan said the Hunter Barco vs. Carson Palmquist pitching match up on Friday could be one of the best we’ll see this year.  Over the summer, O’Sullivan coached Palmquist for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

About Julianna Reichenbach

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