Gators Baseball Beats Ole Miss to Open Series

As the saying goes, it’s better late than never. The third-ranked Florida Gators baseball team plated six runs in the last two innings on their way to a 9-7 over No. 13 Ole Miss in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Down 6-4 in the eighth inning, Cade Kurland, who had no hits in four at-bats at that point, brought in three runs with a two-out double to give the Gators a 7-6 lead.

Additionally, Jac Caglianone hit two homeruns in four at-bats and now leads the nation with 15.

Florida relief pitcher Philip Abner earned the win with 2.1 innings pitched with three strikeouts and only one unearned run. Brandon Sproat started on the mound for the Gators and pitched the first 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts but allowed eight hits and five earned runs.

No. 14 for No. 14, Rebels take lead

Jac Caglianone came into Saturday’s game tied for first in the nation in home runs with Wake Forest’s Brock Wilken (13). With a 2-2 count, the Gators’ star batter smashed a fastball to center field for his 14th home run of the season, which gave Florida an early 1-0 lead.

However, the Rebels immediately bounced back in the bottom half.

Sproat hit Ethan Groff to start the frame, and Calvin Harris singled to put runners on the corners. From there, a groundout by Jacob Gonzalez and a single by Kemp Alderman plated two runs for the Rebels to give them their first lead of the game.

Ty ties it, Rebels retake lead

Shortstop Josh Rivera got on base for the 27th-straight game with a walk in the first inning, but a double in the fourth helped Florida tie the game.ย Ty Evans stepped up to the batter’s box with two outs and doubled to score Rivera.

Once again, the Rebels answered with authority, this time with three runs behind five hits in the fourth inning.

After Anthony Calarco singled to start the inning, Peyton Chatagnier doubled to score him and tie the game. TJ McCants singled, but Michael Robertson stopped a run with a throw from center field to get Chatagnier out. McCants would steal second and advance to third after a wild pitch. Ethan Lege walked, and Groff hit a two-strike single to bring home another run. Another single by Harris scored the third run of the inning.

The Rebels led 5-2 after four innings.

Defensively, Ole Miss pitcher Jack Dougherty kept Florida down through the first four innings. In 4.2 innings of work, he struck seven batters out and only three earned runs with five hits. He put up scoreless innings in the second and third.

After Dougherty was subbed out, Rivera would contribute to another run for the Gators in the fifth with an RBI on a fielder’s choice to score Robertson.

The Gators would load the bases with two outs, but a pop-out by Evans ended their chance for more runs in the inning.

Gators take late lead

The Gators found their grove in the eighth inning after Rivera hit a solo homerun to start the frame.

A fielder’s choice put Evans on base, and Matt Prevesk singled after. Robertson walked to load the bases, and Kurland drove all three home with a double to take the lead.

In the bottom half, Lege gave the Gators a heart attack with a shot to center field, but Robertson carried his clutch play over to defense and robbed the Rebels of a score.

The Gators continued the late offensive onslaught in the ninth inning after Caglianone sent the first pitch past the centerfield fence to put the Gators up 8-6. Two walks and a single by Evans loaded the bases, and Colby Halter grounded out to add another run, giving the Gators six unanswered runs through the previous two innings.

The Rebels made a late push in the bottom of the ninth by loading the bases. Chatagnier brought home a run off a groundout to cut the lead, but Brandon Neely struck out the final batter to seal the Gators’ victory.

Up Next

The Gators face the Rebels on Sunday afternoon to conclude their first road series of the season. First pitch is at 3 p.m. with radio coverage on WRUF and television coverage on SEC Network.

About Cam Parker

Cam is a fourth-year broadcast journalism sports and media major at the University of Florida. In addition to writing and recording radio trendings for WRUF, Cam covers North Florida HS football for The Prep Zone and Mainstreet Daily News and UF football and basketball for Inside the Gators.

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