A rough start for the number three Gator baseball team (27-6, 9-3) led to a one-sided game of baseball between them and the 11th ranked Tennessee Volunteers (22-10, 5-7) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium on Saturday. The Volunteers dismantled the Gators in eight innings of play, winning 14-2.
Florida drops the finale, but leaves Knoxville with its 8th-straight series win to open 2023.
— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) April 8, 2023
Ugly beginning for Caglianone and the Gators
Jac Caglianone’s start on the mound would be one to forget. After striking out in the top of the first inning while batting, he walked on to the mound for the bottom of the inning. There, he walked six batters and gave up three runs without any hits from the Volunteers. Caglianone only went 2/3 of an inning before being replaced by Tyler Nesbitt. Nesbitt came in and struck out the final batter of the inning, but the damage had already been done. Heading into the second inning, the Volunteers led the Gators 3-0.
Nesbitt navigated his way through the second with relative ease. And he was almost through the third inning without allowing any runs, but an error from Cade Kurland let a runner on second base score. Then following the error, the Volunteers hit a two-run homer to make it 6-0 after three innings. In the fourth inning, Nesbitt would give up another two-run homer to extend the Volunteers’ lead to 8-0 over the Gators.
The Gators did have a chance to score in the fifth inning, but could not get the runner home. After Colby Halter doubled to right field with one out, the next two batters struck out.
Gators finally get on the board, but Volunteers respond
Struggling the entire day, the Gator offense finally got a run against the Volunteers. BT Riopelle started the seventh with a single up the middle. Then, with one out, Luke Heyman came up to bat and hit a no-doubt homer to left field to make it 9-2 Tennessee.
However, the Gators gave the runs right back to the Volunteers in the bottom of the inning. The Volunteers scored two runs in the inning after getting a walk with the bases loaded and an RBI infield single to the left side. These runs made it 11-2 heading into the eighth.
Volunteers run rule the Gators
Florida played with their backs against the wall for almost the entire game. From the fourth inning on, the Volunteers were two runs away from enacting the run rule and they finished the job in the eighth inning with a three-run homer to finalize the score at 14-2 over the Gators.
A very bad day on the mound for the Gator pitchers. They walked 18 total batters and gave up seven hits. Of the seven hits, three of them were home runs.
Looking to next week
Florida will have Sunday off as the series started on Thursday this week. The Gators will return to action on Tuesday at home against Florida State. Then, the Gators will host the Georgia Bulldogs for a weekend series that begins on Friday.