The 23rd ranked Florida Gators (5-4) lost to Florida Gulf Coast University (6-3) 2-1 on Thursday night in Gainesville at McKethan Stadium. Florida has lost 3 of its last 4 games and will look to turn things around with three more games slated for this weekend.
It was a pitcher’s duel most of the game, as Florida starter Logan Shore allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work. He also recorded 7 strikeouts. His counterpart, FGCU’s Michael Murray gave up only 1 run on 7 hits in 7.1 innings pitched. He had a shutout going into the 8th inning until the Gators’ offense was finally able to punch a run across the board.
Richie Martin reached on a bunt with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning, followed by a Casey Turgeon single to put two men on base. A passed ball by Eagles’ reliever Brady Anderson would allow both runners to advance into scoring position. Catcher Braden Mattson was able to get an infield single scoring Martin. A fielder’s choice would end the inning and leave the tying run stranded at third base.
Florida was able to get its lead-off man on in the 9th inning, but a strikeout and two ground outs to the shortstop followed suit to end the chance at a comeback for the Gators.
Second baseman Jake Noll collected both RBI for FGCU from the top of the order and was 2-4 on the night.
Martin and Turgeon both went 2-4, and seven Florida starters had at least 1 hit. Martin currently has a 13-game hitting streak dating back to last season. Sophomore Eric Hanhold had an impressive outing on the mound, coming on in the 7th inning for Shore. He allowed no hits with three strikeouts in just 2.0 innings, lowering his ERA to 3.72 on the year.
The Gators are back in action tonight against the Fighting Illini of Illinois at 7 PM. Junior Bobby Poyner (1-1) takes the mound for the Gators while lefty Kevin Duchene (0-1) will get the ball for Illinois. It will be the second game of the day for Illinois as they take on FGCU at 1 PM.