The Florida baseball team defeated FAU 11-0 Wednesday night as Jac Caglainone hit a walk-off, mercy rule grand slam home run in the eighth inning. Caglianone led the offense going 4-for-5 with five RBI and Colby Halter went 2-for-3 with three runs. Wednesday night marked the first midweek sweep for the Gators this season.
Tyler Nesbitt got the nod on the mound for the Gators tonight while Tyler Murphy started for the Owls.
Starting Pitchers Duel
FAU and Florida’s starting pitchers were working quickly through the first few innings, shutting down each other’s offense. Nolan Schanuel, the three home run hitter in Tuesday’s game recorded the first knock of the game in the top of the first with a single. Jackson Ross followed with a hit but a fly out ended the inning for the Owls.
The Gators responded with a double by Jac Caglianone in their bottom half but Josh Rivera sent a deep fly out to center field to end the first. Neither side was able to capitalize on their runner in scoring position.
Nesbitt delivered with back-to-back three up, three down innings in the second and third. He struck out the side in the second.
Florida’s Bats Start Heating Up
Florida Atlantic made a pitching change in the third and went with left handed pitcher Max Martzolf. Florida made them pay as the Gators tallied their first run of the game.
Colby Halter singled to right field and Cade Kurland got plunked by a pitch to send Halter into scoring position. Wyatt Langford was delivered four straight balls to load the bases. Caglianone sent a bouncer to first base that Schanuel had to toss to the pitcher at first but Caglianone beat it out to score Halter. 1-0 for the Orange and Blue.
That was all Florida could do with the bases loaded but it didn’t take long for them to deliver again. Nesbitt went back out for his fourth inning of work and sat the Owls down in order again.
Gators Open the Game
Florida tallied six more runs in the fourth and fifth innings to help increase its lead. In the fourth, Michael Roberston walked and Luke Heyman followed with a single. Halter delivered with an RBI base hit to score Roberston but the throw from right field went beyond the field of play and an E9 scores Heyman. Kurland’s sacrifice fly sent Halter home after he advanced to third on the error.
Florida opened the flood gates in the fifth. Caglianone led off the rally with a double to deep right field. Rivera singled to move Caglianone to third and BT Riopelle doubled to score both baserunners. A ground out by Roberston moved Riopelle to third and Heyman walked. Florida pulled the double steal to score Riopelle and Heyman landed on third from after an error on the catcher. A Halter fly out ended the inning but Florida was able to push their lead to 7-0.
Nesbitt’s final line was five innings pitched with zero walks and six strikeouts in 68 total pitches, 47 of those being strikes; his five innings pitched set a new career high. He allowed no runs.
Philip Abner’s Relief, Caglianone Walk-Off Run Rule
Philip Abner relieved in the sixth inning. Florida has been struggling in midweeks finding a reliable arm in the bullpen to get the final outs. Abner provided that for Florida, tossing three no hit innings (career high). In Tuesdays game, Abner was leaned on to strictly face Schanuel after he belted three home runs in his first four at bats against Florida. Abner responded by striking him out and he did it again on this night.
Florida put a staple on this win when Caglianone hit a walk-off, run-rule, grand slam to right field. The baserunners came from Halter and Langford walking and Kurland’s single.
An absolute 💣🚀 salami to send us home! #GoGators pic.twitter.com/o0OJlDCuqi
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) March 9, 2023
It was just what Florida needed after dropping its last two Wednesday midweek games.
The Gators will host Siena this weekend in a three game series at Condron Ballpark.