The 20th-ranked Florida Gators (3-1) tallied four runs in the seventh inning to pull away from the UCF Knights (3-1), 5-1. Instead of the freshman, it was Florida’s juniors who made the big impact in the game. Juniors Taylor Gushue, Zack Powers, Braden Mattson, and Justin Schafer accounted for driving in all five runs in the win. There was one freshman who stuck out from the rest Tuesday night and that was starting pitcher Logan Shore. In Shore’s first collegiate start, he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing only 1 earned run on three hits. Shore also struck out four Knights. Shore, from Coon Rapids, MN, was the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year and the 2013 Mr. Baseball in Minnesota. During his senior season in high school, Shore went 9-0 with a miniscule 0.27 ERA while batting .429. Needless to say, his future looks bright at UF.
Back to the game, however. Gushue started the scoring in the first inning when he belted a solo home run over the right-field fence to put the Gators up 1-0. Things were pretty quiet after that with Shore and UCF starter Zach Rodgers pitching shutout baseball.
That is until the sixth inning when the Knights struck to tie up the game. A fielding error by shortstop Richie Martin allowed JaMarcos Woods to score to tie the game 1-1. During the sixth inning, Danny Young took over for Shore and went the rest of the way. Young (1-0) picked up his first win of the year in 3 2/3 innings of one hit ball in which he did not allow a run.
Florida struck back in the seventh with smart and timely hitting. Powers broke the tie with a bases-loaded walk to score Buddy Reed and Mattson extended the lead with a two-run single. After A.J. Puk walked to load the bases again, Schafer hit an RBI infield single to give the Gators the final score 5-1.
Florida finishes up their five-game homestand to start the season tonight against the North Florida Ospreys (2-1). Pitchers are to be determined, but the game does start at 7 pm.