The Gators baseball team snapped a 2-game losing skid and was able to come away with a win Saturday night against Florida Gulf Coast. No. 23 Florida (6-5) defeated the Eagles (6-6) 4-0 giving the Gators their second shutout of the season, the first since their season opener against Maryland.
Florida pounded out 10 hits and twice scored two runs. In the 4th inning, first baseman Peter Alonso singled through the left side. The ball didn’t leave the infield the rest of the inning, as catcher Braden Mattson walked followed by a sacrifice bunt from third baseman Josh Tobias. With runners in scoring position, freshman Ryan Larson laid down a squeeze bunt to score the first run of the game. Right fielder Zack Powers put down a second squeeze bunt as Mattson came across to score.
In the 7th inning, shortstop Richie Martin singled, stole second, and scored on a double by second baseman Casey Turgeon. Turgeon then scored on a double by DH Taylor Gushue. Martin extended his team-leading hitting streak to 15 games, dating back to last year after his 1-4 performance. It is an 11-game hitting streak so far to open the 2014 season.
Pitching was the key to the game as redshirt junior Karsten Whitson (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, going 5.0 innings and allowing only one hit. Sophomore Aaron Rhodes earned his first save of the season the hard way as he went 4.0 innings giving up a mere two hits. Rhodes had four strikeouts in the rare four-inning save. After the performances by Whitson and Rhodes, the bullpen should be fresh should they be needed in the weekend finale on Sunday.
The Gators were able to recover from a loss to FGCU on Thursday night, a game in which they managed just one run on nine hits. Saturday, Florida was able to score four runs on ten hits. FGCU was shutout with only three hits. The Gators wrap-up the weekend with a game against Illinois on Sunday at 1 PM.