Photo courtesy of @GatorsBB via Twitter.

Gators Baseball Forces Rubber Match with Texas Tech

No. 2 Florida Gators baseball defeats Texas Tech in their second elimination game of the day with a 7-1 victory on Sunday night. Florida’s victory forces a winner-take-all Gainesville Regional championship game on Monday at 12 p.m.

All Eyes on Fisher

Freshman Cade Fisher had a phenomenal start for the Gators, limiting the Red Raiders to five hits and one earned run. He did not give up a single walk, striking out six over seven innings. Fisher tossed a career-high 93 pitches with 66 strikes, carrying a shutout into the bottom of the eighth when he was replaced by Florida reliever Brandon Neely.

Gator head coach Kevin O’Sullivan offered praise for Fisher, who saved the team in a do-or-die game in what was just his second-career start.

“Cade was outstanding,” he said. “The same thing can be said about Hurston. We wouldn’t be in this position to have enough pitching [for Monday] if we didn’t get those two starts. We’re in good shape.”

Additionally, Sunday starters Fisher and Hurston Waldrep combined for 18 strikeouts in 14 innings on Sunday, posting a 1.29 ERA and allowing just 10 hits on the day.

Looking ahead to Monday’s contest, O’Sullivan is unsure of who will start as he says it will be a group effort.

“I know you’re going to ask me who is going to start,” he said. “I don’t know yet. But we’ve got options. We’ve got a bunch of guys that have pitched in big-level situations that will be available.”

Four-Run Frame for Gators

Jac Caglianone continued to step up at the plate on Sunday night. Earlier in the day, he blasted two home runs that drove in five runs en route to Florida’s 8-2 victory over UConn. Then, against the Red Raiders, Caglianone hit an RBI single to right to get the Gators on the board in what was a scoreless game in the top of the sixth.

Caglianone helped the Florida offense regain its rhythm. Josh Rivera reached on an infield single and a throwing error allowed Caglianone to score to give the Gators a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. However, the action-packed inning was not over yet. Tyler Shelnut would hit a two-run single to put Florida up 4-0 over Texas Tech. The four-run frame saw the Gators score all of their runs with two outs. 

Additionally, prior to Caglianone’s RBI single, the top of the sixth inning saw a disaster in base running for the Gators. Florida had a huge opportunity as Wyatt Langford stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third and nobody out. Then, Langford hit a ground ball to third base. Richie Schiekofer was thrown out at home while Langford got hung up between first and second. Cade Kurland, trying to score, got thrown out at the plate. The 5-2-6-3-2 double play resulted in Langford at second base, where he would soon score on Caglianone’s RBI single.

Gators Nation Shows Out

During the postgame press conference, both Shelnut and O’Sullivan credited the crowd for their support thus far in the Gainesville Regional. Additionally, O’Sullivan shared how important it is that fans come out to support the team in Monday’s winner-take-all contest. First pitch is set for noon at Condron Family Ballpark.

About Ellie Shreve

Ellie is a third-year sports and media journalism major at the University of Florida.

Check Also

Pat Dooley’s Back Nine: SEC Media Days A Week Away

The Back Nine comes at you while dealing with COVID during the worst weekend for …