Gators Defeat USF 8-2
The No. 13 Florida Gators got back to their winning ways Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium in their last regular-season home game of the season. They defeated the South Florida Bulls (25-27) 8-2 to improve to 35-18 on the season. It was the Gators’ 9th midweek victory in 2014.
After exchanging runs in the first inning and conceding a second run to the Bulls in the second, Florida exploded for five runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Gators used five hits and a USF error to take a four-run lead. The lead was almost increased as UF left the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Gators scored single runs again in the sixth and eighth innings to cap off the six-run victory heading into the final weekend series against the Tennessee Volunteers (30-20).
The winning pitcher was freshman Kirby Snead (3-0) who came on in relief in the fifth inning and threw 3.1 innings. He gave up no runs and only three hits. Starter Brett Morales lasted only two innings after surrendering two runs on five hits and a walk. Florida used five pitchers in the contest.
Lawrence Prado (1-2) suffered the loss for the Bulls lasting 1.1 innings. Florida knocked him around to score six runs on four hits and recorded three walks. South Florida used a whopping seven pitchers, three of whom only threw 0.1 innings.
Shortstop Richie Martin was a perfect 3-3 on the night with three runs scored and a walk. Center fielder Harrison Bader was 2-3 with a run and three RBI. Florida walked six times as a team and had 11 hits in the contest.
Kyle Teaf, Luke Borders, and Buddy Putnam each collected two hits for the Bulls.
Florida travels to Knoxville beginning Thursday night to face their division rivals who have played three consecutive extra-inning games. The Volunteers defeated Morehead State 4-3 on Tuesday and lost two of three to Mississippi this past weekend. Last season, the Gators won two of three games from UT in Gainesville, including a 3-2 victory in extra innings in the second game.
The Gators currently lead the SEC and will most likely have a bye to open the conference tournament in Hoover, Alabama next week. If they are the one seed, Florida will take on the winner of the #8/#9 game in the double elimination bracket before preparing for the NCAA regionals.