FINAL: USF 6, FLORIDA 1
Tampa, FL – The Gators opened midweek play with a road bout against South Florida in Tampa. Florida’s offense, save for the bat of a freshman outfielder, appears to have stayed in Gainesville. The Gators fell to the Bulls by a 6-1 score and are now 3-1 on the season.
Florida will make the trek back to campus and face UNF on Wednesday. The Ospreys are 2-1 and took the season opening series against SEC foe Missouri.
The Bulls struck first with a pair of runs in the opening frame of the game. USF managed to load the bases with the first three hitters of the game. A pair of singles and a walk by McMullen allowed for the situation. Joe Genord hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Nick Gonzalez for the first run of the game and that was followed by OF Austin Bodrato singling to score Jordan Santos and put the Bulls up 2-0.
Florida threatened in the third, loading the bases with two outs, but freshman 2B Cody Acton hit a deep fly ball to the deepest part of the park that was tracked down by USF CF Kyle Phillips.
USF added to it’s lead in the third when Genord crushed a solo shot that just barely stayed fair. The next three Bulls batters each reached base via walk, error, and walk, but relief pitcher Justin Alintoff was able to record back to back strikeouts to retire the side.
The Gators had runners on second and third in the fourth, but SS Brady McConnell swung at a pitch that was way outside to end the threat.
Florida finally got on the board in the sixth when Jud Fabian unloaded for his first career homer to left-center and brought the Gators back to within two runs. USF had a chance to add to the lead, loading the bases with no outs against reliever Jordan Butler, but a strikeout and a double-play ended the threat.
While it looked as if momentum had shifted, Florida opened the seventh with runners on first and third with no outs. USF called on lefty reliever Logan Lyle to face the Gators 4-5-6 hitters. All Lyle did was strikeout the side to end the threat and keep the Bulls ahead.
USF DH Chris Chatfield led off the seventh inning with a homer to right center to capitalize on the momentum, but that wouldn’t be all for the Bulls in the frame. USF would add two more runs on a Phillips double and suddenly found themselves with a 6-1 lead on the #5 team in the country.
Florida’s pitching didn’t bail the offense out this time. Hunter McMullen (0-1) started the game, but was yanked in the third inning. In all five pitchers toed the rubber for Florida in this one.
- Freshman Just Fabian and senior Nelson Maldonado were the only Gators to record a hit in the game.
- Freshman Justin Alintoff relieved McMullen and threw 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball.
- The two teams combined to walk 13 batters (Six by Gators pitchers.
W: Baron Stuart (1-0)
L: McMullen (0-1)