The Florida Gator baseball team clinched its series against Cincinnati after defeating them 13-3 in eight innings on Saturday.
Hurston Waldrep had a dominating start on the mound, tying his career-high with 13 strikeouts. The Gator offense was led by Wyatt Langford (3 for-4), Josh Rivera (2 for-4) and Cade Kurland (2 for-4).
First Inning Slam
Waldrep came out of the gates throwing nothing but flames at the Bearcats. He opened the game with a four-pitch strikeout to Griffin Hugus, followed by another strikeout on back-to-back 98, and 99 mph heaters.
Florida wasted no time with its offense in the first inning. Four pitches into his at-bat, Wyatt Langford doubled to left center for the Gators’ first baserunner. Up next, a scary moment as Jac Caglianone was hit in the head on the right side of his helmet, but he jogged to first and remained in the game. Ty Evans was handed first after he was hit as well and the bases were juiced.
Josh Rivera then sent a long ball down the right-field line for a grand slam to put the Gators up 4-0.
It’s going to be hard to believe any MLB team is going to pass on Waldrep come June. The potential first-round pick was showing exactly why his name should be called early on in the draft.
Waldrep had six strikeouts through two innings, striking out four in the second.
He gave up one run in the second inning as Landyn Vidourek singled in a run. It was still 4-1 Gators.
Gators Bats Continue to Rake
As Waldrep was whiffing almost every batter for Cincinnati, his offense gave him solid run support. In the second inning, an E6 gave Richie Schiekofer first base. Back-to-back walks to Dale Thomas and Cade Kurland sent the Bearcats to the bullpen for a pitching change. Wyatt Langford grounded into a double play but brought in a runner to make it 5-1 Gators.
Another long ball was sent over the fence by Langford in the fourth inning. Cade Kurland singled and rounded the bags as Langford blasted a two-run home run, 110 mph off the bat, putting Florida up 7-1.
13 Strikeouts For Waldrep
To continue with Waldrep’s stellar outing, he opened the third by striking out the side. He issued his first walk in the fourth but no damage was done. Waldrep gave up another run in the fifth after a walk and a hit but the Gators held their lead at 7-2.
He finished his night with 13 strikeouts in six innings of work. He’s the first Gator to have 13 strikeouts in an outing since Jackson Kowar in the 2018 College World Series. Waldrep’s fastball was electric with his high 90’s fastball, and he was also sharp with an excellent breaking pitch and change-up that dominated the Bearcat hitters.
Hurston Waldrep (@GatorsBB) was outstanding today with 13 Ks across 6 IP, while allowing just 3 hits and 2 ER. Fastball was up to 98 and up to 94 in the 6th. Hard SL continues to be a serious weapon, but his Split-Change has been lethal so far this season. pic.twitter.com/j7vjFMNhMP
— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) February 25, 2023
Insurance Runs, Relief Pitching
The bottom of the sixth saw a couple more runs for Florida. Schiekofer singled followed by a two-bagger by Matthew Prevesk. Cade Kurland then doubled to bring them in to make it 9-2.
Nic Ficarrotta came in to relieve Waldrep and followed with a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. BT Riopelle was issued a walk in the seventh and scored on an error after Rivera singled. Schiekofer grounded out but brought in a run to extend the Gator lead to 11-2. The game ended in the eighth inning as the Gators walked it off via another long ball (both head coaches agreed to the 10-run rule this series).
Wyatt Langford singled and Ty Evans kissed his ball goodbye as he sent it 407 feet, 101 mph off the bat.
Looking for the Sweep
The Gators will be looking to bring out the brooms Sunday as they play Cincinnati at noon. Jac Caglianone will toe the rubber for Florida.