Florida Baseball Defeats Bethune-Cookman in Midweek Matchup

The number three Florida Gator baseball team defeated Bethune-Cookman 8-4 on Tuesday night with another come from behind win; 13 of the Gators’ 25 wins have been from behind.

Florida’s offense proved again in the late innings their bats can get on fire. Though the runs continued to tally, the Gator pitchers struggled issuing walks (9).

Starting Pitching Looks Uncomfortable

It was an odd first inning for both teams as both starting pitchers called their respected trainers out to the mound for a visit during their half of the first.

After Yoel Tejeda Jr got the first out of the ballgame, he visibly started struggling. He issued a walk to the next batter Jason Hodges and had a visit on the mound by the staff. He remained in the game but the next batter reached first on an error after Tejada couldn’t pick up the rolling ball. Nick Ficarrotta started warming up in the bullpen as Tejeda Jr gave up a three run home run to right field by Robert Moya (all runs were unearned). He got out of the inning though thanks to a fly out.

The Gators were able to rally back a pair in its home half but Bethune-Cookman had to make a call to the bullpen earlier than expected. Michael Robertson beat out an infield single and Wyatt Langford followed with a double to put runners in scoring position. The Wildcats starting pitcher Alec Mendes looked uneasy as his head coach and trainer met with him on the mound. Santiago Gomez came in to relieve him and Jac Caglianone welcomed him to the game with a single that brought both runners in, making it 3-2.

Gators Tie it up

Yoel Tejeda Jr. remained on the mound for the second inning after showing signs of mishap with his body in the first. He threw a 1-2-3 inning thanks to a diving snag by Tyler Shelnut on the hot corner.

Florida evened it up in the second as Ty Evans tripled to right-center for his 12th extra-base hit of the season. Rene Lastres brought in Evans on an RBI ground out to tie the ballgame at three.

Gold Glove Work

It was a night of flashing the leather for the Gators. After his triple in the second, Evans made a diving catch in the third, saving an extra base hit.

Florida Takes Advantage

Florida grabbed the lead in the fourth after a couple free bases were given. Lastres was hit by a pitch, Dale Thomas walked and a passed ball advanced both runners. A sac fly by Michael Robertson sent in Lastres who originally was called out due to leaving third early, but Florida challenged the play and it was overturned. Langford sent the next runner in on a sac fly to centerfield to extend the lead to 5-3.

Tejeda settled in and pitched three scoreless innings after the first. Clete Hartzog came in to relieve him as he made his fourth appearance of the season. Tejeda’s final line was 4IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 0Ks.

Hartzog struggled with location in his one inning of work. He struck out one in the fifth but gave up a hit to open the sixth and walked the next batter, his third walk issued. Nick Ficarrotta came out of the bullpen and hit his first batter faced, loading the bases. A sac fly by Jeremy Garcia sent a runner in (charged to Hartzog), but Ficarrotta got out of the inning, limiting the damage.

Gators Offense Fuels Fire, Wins Ballgame

But, Florida’s offense would prevail again as the bats lit up in the seventh inning. Wyatt Langford led off with a standup triple to right field. Bethune-Cookman brought the infield in on Josh Rivera but he laced an RBI single over the shortstop’s head, who probably would have caught it if he wasn’t playing in. Rivera stole second and BT Riopelle sent a moonshot to left field to make it 8-4.

Chris Arroyo entered the mound in the eighth after Ficarrotta’s two innings. He finished the inning walking two batters but no runs scored.

Florida went 1-2-3 in the eighth.ย  Philip Abner came in to close the ballgame for the Gators in the ninth inning and did not allow a run.

The Gators beat beat the Wildcats 8-4 and look ahead to one of its toughest matchups as they travel to play Tennessee on Thursday.

About Gabriela Vitale

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