FILE - Florida outfielder Jud Fabian bats during an NCAA college baseball game against Florida A&M in Gainesville, Fla., in this Wednesday, March 4, 2020, file photo. The Gators are in a familiar place as the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason. Fabian might be the best position player in the country. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Gators Baseball Narrowly Beats Bethune-Cookman

The Florida Gator baseball team (16-5, 2-1) squeaked their way past Bethune-Cookman (8-12, 3-0) on Tuesday, winning 3-2.

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Good Work from the Gator Bullpen

Nick Pogue took the mound for Florida on Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman. His outing was expected to be short as he was on a pitch limit; however, it was short because of wildness.  He could not make it past the first inning as he walked four batters in the inning and gave up one run. This put Florida in an early 1-0 deficit. Florida then quickly turned to Nick Ficarrotta who looked good once again out of the bullpen for the Gators. He worked his way through four and 1/3 innings, giving up just one run that came from an error by Colby Halter. In his appearance, he struck out two and only allowed one hit.

Then Tyler Nesbitt came out of the bullpen to begin the sixth inning to replace Ficarrotta. Nesbitt, like Nick Pogue, is also making his way back from an injury and was on a pitch count. He went one inning and struck out two of the batters he faced in the inning.

Pitching after Nesbitt would be Philip Abner. Abner worked through the next two innings with ease. In his two innings, he had two strikeouts and just one walk.

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Karl Hartman ended the night for Florida, earning his first save on the season. Hartman came in for the ninth inning and made it a little scary for himself. With two outs, Bethune-Cookman had a runner on third with a chance to tie the game. Hartman had different plans; he struck out the final batter ending the game and giving the Gators the win.

Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked a little about his freshman pitchers that ended the night.

In this game, the Florida pitchers only gave up one hit.

Just Enough from the Gator Offense

The Gators struggled early to get hits with runners in scoring position. In each of the first three innings they had a runner at least on second base and could not push them across home plate. It was not until the fourth inning when they would get on the scoreboard. Freshmen Ty Evans and Rene Lastres hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for Mac Guscette. Guscette brought home Evans via a sacrifice bunt to put the Gators on the board.

In the following inning the Gators tied the game up with a Jud Fabian home run to left field. They had a chance to take the lead in the fifth inning after a double from Sterlin Thompson. However, nothing amounted from this hit with the next three Gator batters going down in order.

Jud Fabian would come to the rescue again for Florida in the seventh inning. Leading off the inning, he would hit a moonshot to left field leaving no doubt in his mind that it went out of the ballpark. This game marked his seventh multi-home run game in his career.

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The homer gave the Gators a 3-2 lead and they went on to win a tightly contested match up.  Florida out hit Bethune-Cookman 11 to one, but only managed to win by one run. Not as good as they may have wanted, but it got the job done.

Florida will be hosting LSU for the weekend; when looking to LSU, Fabian was not shy in his response when asked about the expectations for the series.

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