Florida

Florida Baseball’s Offense Explodes Late in Win Over Kentucky

The No.4 Florida Gator baseball team defeated the No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats 10-3 Thursday night at Kentucky Proud Park.

The Gator offense was led by Cade Kurland and Wyatt Langford, who each had three hit nights. Josh Rivera and BT Riopelle also followed with a multi-hit games.

Hurston Waldrep extended his record to 7-3 as he was awarded the win on the mound.

Florida Tags on a Pair

The Gators got on the board early in the first inning with two runs. Kurland worked a walk to leadoff the game and Langford followed with an RBI double. Jac Caglianone continued the rally with an RBI single to put Florida up 2-0. All this production from the Gator offense happened before Kentucky’s starter Travis Smith could record an out.

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Florida gave Waldrep two runs of support and he followed his offense’s momentum by sitting the Wildcat batters down 1-2-3 on six pitches.

Kentucky Scores Two

The Wildcats were able to bring in a run thanks to an error from the Gator defense. Chase Stanke reached on an error by Waldrep but after two outs, he struggled with location hitting two straight batters to load the bases, and a single by Emilien Pitre scored a run.

Kentucky’s production at the plate continued in the fourth inning with a Jase Felker leadoff double. He advanced to third on a passed ball and a sacrifice fly scored the tying run for the Wildcats.

Florida’s Offense Explodes at the Plate

It was only a matter of time before the Orange and Blue started its contagious hitting, combining for eight runs in the sixth and seventh inning.

Kurland led off the sixth inning with a ground rule double to left-center field. And for the second time, Langford followed with an RBI double for the go-ahead run. Caglianone was hit by a pitch to put him at first base and the Wildcats brought in relief pitcher Ryder Giles. Rivera singled to score Kurland and Riopelle’s RBI double scored Langford.

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Evan Byers came in for Giles but Luke Heyman made him pay as his RBI single extended the Gator lead to 7-2.

Kentucky was able to get back a run from a long ball by Grant Smith.

Then, in the seventh inning, the Wildcats went to pitcher Magdiel Cotto to take on the Gator hitters. Kurland led off the inning with his third hit of the night. Langford mirrored that with a single for his third hit, as well. Caglianone walked to load the bases and an RBI ground out scored Kurland. Riopelle recorded a two RBI single to extend the Gator lead 10-3.

Waldrep’s Night on the Mound

Waldrep started off the series on the mound after only throwing 10 pitches against Vanderbilt last week due to a rain delay. He was searching for a quality start after giving up four or more runs in his previous three starts, excluding the Vanderbilt start.

With help from his offense, he answered by pitching six innings giving up six hits, two earned runs, two walks and six strikeouts.

Langford’s Outstanding Double Play, Slater Closes

The projected first round draft pick for the Gators in Langford showed why he’s one of the best players in the nation. Along with his three hit night, he made the best play of the game in left field. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Langford made a diving grab and threw from his backside to double off the Wildcats and end the inning, leaving the score at 10-3.

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Ryan Slater entered in place of Waldrep in the seventh inning on the mound for Florida. He was awarded his third save of the season as he struck out three in his three innings of work.

Florida looks to clinch the series on Friday with a win. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

About Gabriela Vitale

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