Colby Shelton saves the day for Florida Baseball

The transfer from Alabama hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning

Gators infielder Colby Shelton (10) knocks one out of the ballpark in the bottom of the fifth inning
Gators infielder Colby Shelton (10) knocks one out of the ballpark in the bottom of the fifth inning / Cyndi Chambers/Special to the
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Heading into the 8th inning, it looked like Florida Baseball was going to be able to bank another win and move on to the next one despite another sluggish start from its pitching. Then St. Mary's scored four runs to send the game to extra innings. Then St. Mary's hit a home run in the 10th inning. Then the panic of whether or not Florida is a contender starting to creep in.

Then Colby Shelton decided to save the day as the Gators prevailed 12-11 in extra innings over the Gaels.

Florida Baseball: Walk Them Off

It was another rough start for Cade Fisher as the sophomore let the first three batters reach base and let two runs cross before settling in to get out of the inning. The first two runners of the second inning also reached and two more runs crossed, aided by a throwing error from Cade Kurland.

By the time Fisher's day was done, he went five innings, giving up five runs with four being earned.

But the bats for the Gators were able to keep pace and beyond and by the time Kurland drove home Brody Donay in the 7th inning to make to 9-5, it looked like despite the slow start on the mound that Florida was going to be okay.

Cue a run in the eighth inning and three runs in the ninth inning to give Brandon Neely a blown save.

Oops.

Cue some non competitive bats in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

Double oops.

Cue Neely giving up a two-run homer in the top of the 10th to put Florida on the verge of a loss to St. Mary's

Triple oops.

Cue Shelton hitting a walk-off three run home run in the bottom of the 10th to win the game.

Quadruple... wait that's a good thing.

Shelton transferred in from Alabama after belting 25 home runs as a freshman. With two home runs on the night, Shelton is up to eight on the season and is in the top ten nationally. He's also sporting a .462 on base percentage with nine walks on the season.

There are still flaws with this Gator squad that will need to be remedied in order to make a deep run come May and June, but after losing the big bat of Wyatt Langford from 2023, Florida appears to have been able to mitigate that loss with a power bat who is showing no sign of slowing down in 2024.