Seventh-ranked Gator baseball (7-1) brought out the brooms on Sunday after completing the sweep at home against the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-5), winning 13-7. On the day, the Gators smashed eight home runs that helped catapult them past the Bearcats.
Gators set single-game program home run record on Sunday
Florida scored 13 total runs on the day. Of the 13, 11 of them came via the long ball.
Josh Rivera had himself a career day. He got his first multi-home run day in his career. His first came in the second inning to tie the game at one apiece and in his next at-bat in the fourth, he launched a two-run home run to right center field to help his team take a 3-1 lead over the Bearcats.
Despite his day on the mound being done in the fifth, Jac Caglianone’s time in the batter’s box was not. In the fifth inning, he mashed a two-run home run over the fence in right field to give the Gators a 5-3 lead.
Then in the sixth inning, the Gators started to separate from their opponents. In the inning, they had three homers from Luke Heyman, Colby Halter and Jac Caglianone. The farthest of the three came from Caglianone, sending the ball 462 feet. Caglianone completed the hat trick of homers in the eighth inning. In this inning, he had no doubt after the ball hit the bat that it was gone.
For Caglianone, this homer would mark the first time he has hit three in a game.
This home run also set the single-game record for most in a game in Florida history.
Josh Rivera after the game said he had never been a part of this type of performance during all his years of baseball.
The only two runs that were not scored off of home runs would come in the bottom of the eighth. In the eighth, Rivera hit a single to right field that went under the right fielders glove and all the way to the wall. He turned this error into an exciting event when he came all the way around to score and it also scored BT Riopelle.
Gators dip into the bullpen
The starter for the game was Jac Caglianone. He went 4 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, striking out six, walking four, and allowing three earned runs.
Caglianone’s day did not start the best. In the first inning, the Bearcats got the bases loaded after Caglianone hit one batter, walked another, and gave up a single. One of the runners did make it home after an error by the Gators, but that would be the only runner who scored. He did turn it around over the next three innings of work where he struck out six batters and gave up no runs. However, Caglianone only lasted until the fifth before being pulled.
Blake Purnell came in to relieve Caglianone in the fifth but his day would be a short one. He entered the game in a bases-loaded situation and hit the first batter faced and walked the one after that to tie the game at 3-3. Left-hander Cade Fisher came in for Purnell in the fifth and got the Gators out of the inning without any more runs scored.
Fisher pitched until the seventh, which is when closer Brandon Neely made his way out of the bullpen. Neely closed the game out for the Gators, going the final 2 2/3 innings. He almost made it out of the game without allowing a run, but in the ninth inning he gave up a two-run homer. On the day, Neely struck out three, walked one batter and gave up two earned runs.
Despite the final runs giving up in the ninth, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan still was happy with how the bullpen pitched on Sunday.
Heading into next week
Following this sweep, the Gators will be taking on the Jacksonville Dolphins in a two-game series that starts on Tuesday in Jacksonville. Then on Wednesday, both teams will travel back to Gainesville for the second game. After this match up, the Gators will play host to the Miami Hurricanes on the weekend.