Jac Caglianone hits the program tying, single season home run record at 26. Photo via @GatorsBB twitter.

Caglianone Ties Single Season Home Run Record as Florida Baseball Sweeps FSU

The Florida Gator baseball team defeated Florida State 7-5 at 121 Financial Ballpark in Jacksonville in-front of 8,210 fans. This would complete the season sweep of the Seminoles as the Gators have won all three midweek games.

Jac Caglianone hit the program tying single season home run as he launched his 26th of the season. That long ball would tie teammate Wyatt Langford’s record of 26 from last season and also Matt LaPorta who hit 26 homers. Gator coach Kevin O’Sullivan spoke about how special Caglianone is as a player.

“Honestly, he doesn’t swing and miss a whole lot and when he gets to two strikes, he does a good job of shortening up his swing a little bit and he’s the biggest, strongest kid on the field. It’s really that simple. He can miss balls and hit them out. He’s just physically gifted,” O’Sullivan said.

Clete Hartzog took the mound for the Gators making his first career start. Ben Barrett was handed the ball for Florida State.

Florida Bats Start Hot

Cade Kurland led the game off with a walk and Wyatt Langford followed with a single to center field, advancing Kurland to third. Caglianone belted a single through the right side, scoring Kurland and an error by the right fielder scored Langford.

Florida’s bats were finding barrels and the Noles were forced to go to its bullpen early. Barrett hit Luke Heyman and Tyler Shelnut to load the bases. FSU gave the ball to Andrew Armstrong to take over. He gave up a couple more runs as Colby Halter belted an RBI single and with the addition of Dale Thomas’ RBI groundout, the Gators had an early 4-0 lead.

Nole’s Chomp Back

After a 30 minute first inning, both teams went completely through its order and made an early bullpen call. FSU matched Florida’s first inning scoring five runs to take the lead.

Hartzog’s first career start for the Orange and Blue wasn’t pretty. He gave up four straight hits to start the game. DeAmez Ross singled and scored on Jamie Ferrer’s double. James Tibbs III singled to score Ferrer and a triple by Cam Smith scored Tibbs. Nander De Sedas reached on a fielder’s choice but advanced to second on an error by Hartzog that also scored Smith.

O’Sullivan was forced to go to the bullpen early, grabbing Nick Ficarrotta. He was able to record all three outs but gave up a run (charged to Hartzog) on a single by Jordan Carrion.

Ficarrotta went on to pitch three innings giving up three hits, no runs while striking out four and walking two.

Rivera made a run-saving play in the third inning as he caught a ball behind second base on the run, throwing the runner out at first.

Blake Purnell came in to relive Ficarrota in the fourth inning.

Back-to-back Gator Bombs

Langford sent the first long ball out of the park. And it wasn’t long until the crowd saw another one leave the yard. Caglianone hit one for the history books, making the game 6-5.

Rivera worked a walk and Heyman doubled to bring him in, extending the Gators lead 7-5.

Purnell Shoves Five Scoreless

What a night it was for Purnell, who entered the game in the fourth with runners on first and second and no outs. He pitched five innings, with eight strikeouts while and only allowing one walk.

Philip Abner Closes, Gators Win

Philip Abner entered the game in the ninth inning to close after Purnell’s stellar performance. He was awarded the save and struck out two batters to cap off the Gator win.

“It’s good to sweep anyone, let alone your rival, they all three were competitive games and we really wanted to get through this game without using Neely, Slater or Cade Fisher and we were fortunate enough to be able to do that. We needed some other guys to step up and they did.” O’Sullivan said.

Florida will head to College Station to play Texas A&M in a three game series this weekend.

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