Wyatt Langford
The Florida Gators Baseball team celebrates with Wyatt Langford (36) during a game against the Georgia State Panthers on Feb. 26, 2022. (Photo by Jordan McKendrick, Floridagators.com)

Gators Baseball Cruise Past Florida A&M

The Florida Gator baseball team (19-10, 3-6) coasted past the Florida A&M Rattlers (12-18, 6-3) on Tuesday, winning 13-3. They now move their attention to Arkansas who comes into Gainesville on Thursday to begin a big three game series.  Arkansas is ranked number two in the country, with a 7-2 SEC record.

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Positive Performance for Gators Pitching against the Rattlers

The Gator pitching staff rebounded well on Tuesday against Florida A&M. Nick Pogue began the night against the Rattlers and recorded his best outing of the season. He only went three innings, but they were a perfect three. He got the first nine batters of the game out without giving up any hits or walks. The third inning would be Pogue’s last as he is still recovering from Tommy John surgery. In his outing, he struck out three batters.

Pogue talked about his recovery from his surgery post game.

There would be a platoon of pitchers used after Pogue beginning with Nick Ficarrotta. Ficarrotta, in relief for Pogue, worked through the fourth and fifth innings. He did not allow any runs in his appearance out of the bullpen. However, in the fifth, he did give up the first hit of the game. Outside of the hit, he was very effective.

Florida then used four pitchers for the final four innings. The first of the lot to come out of the bullpen would be Tyler Nesbitt. Nesbitt entered the sixth in relief for Ficarrotta. He only threw the one inning but he made it an efficient one. He struck out two of the three he batters faced.

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For the seventh, Philip Abner had his name called upon. Abner had no real trouble in the seventh outside of the walk he issued. Next, Timmy Manning got the nod for the eighth and it turned out to be a rough outing.  Coming into the inning, the Gators had not allowed a run. The Rattlers, by the end of the inning, left with three runs. Ending the night for Florida was Blake Purnell. Purnell gave up one hit, but got the necessary three outs to end the game.

As a whole, the pitchers gave up five hits and three runs. Additionally, they kept their walks down with just one batter earning a free pass in the match up.

Gators Come Out Hot on Offense

Florida bats would be on fire for most of the game. They scored a run in the opening inning after Wyatt Langford singled to score Jud Fabian from second base. While this was the only run in the first inning, there would be more to come.

In the bottom of the third, Florida took advantage of a great situation. With bases loaded for Langford, he earned a walk to score the first run of the inning. This put the Gators up 2-0 over the Rattlers. After scoring two more runs and a couple batters later, Josh Rivera made his way to the batters box. With a runner on third base, Rivera knocked an RBI-double to give the Gators a 5-0 lead over the Rattlers. Florida A&M managed to close the inning, but at this point the flood gates had already been opened.

In the fourth Florida plated six more runs. They started with a home run blast from Deric Fabian. Quickly after, Jud Fabian matched his brother with a no-doubt homer to left field, which was his 13th of the year.

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Later in the inning, BT Riopelle came to the plate. With two runners on, he sent a three-run missile to right field. This put the Gator lead at 10-0 over the Rattlers.

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The Gators notched one more run in the inning from an RBI-single from Deric Fabian. By the end of the fourth, the Gators would be leading by 11 runs. They scored two final runs in the sixth inning before finally cooling down to end the game. They tallied 17 hits as a team with three homers; overall, a great hitting night for the Gators.

Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan talked a little on team’s focus moving as the season progresses.

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