For three innings freshman Nick Pogue looked like the ace Florida baseball has lacked all season.
Pogue retired nine straight after a first inning single and appeared to be in cruise control.
The offense even offered Pogue an early lead to pitch from.
But then the fourth inning struck. The Gators entered the inning with a 2-0 lead thanks to an Austin Langworthy first inning RBI groundout as well as a Langworthy solo homer two innings later.
Pogue gave up two homers and six runs before being relieved by Nolan Crisp. Crisp then gave up a 3-run homer before Ben Specht could finally put out the flames.
Specht pitched heroically and kept the Gators in the game. However, too often, the Gators left runners stranded in scoring position and failed to convert in such situations.
The Gators did chip away at the 9-2 deficit, scoring four runs in the fifth and adding a run in the seventh and ninth innings.
The Gators had a chance in the ninth as they had runners on second and third with one out, but a pair of ground balls ended the game (Florida did score on the one of those groundouts).
- Ben Specht pitched an excellent 4.1 innings, allowing only two hits and striking out four. Specht kept the Gators in position to make a comeback.
- Tyler Dyson hadn’t pitched in a long time, but he looked as confident as ever. Dyson breezed through the top of the ninth, retiring the side in order and striking out two in the process. Dyson may always be our what if in how it relates to this team.
- Austin Langworthy: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB
- Wil Dalton: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB
The script is over for the 2019 Gators. And while it was a season to forget in many regards, there is a lot of optimism looking towards the future.
The Gators are an incredibly young team that will return much of the starting corps. The hope is that they young pitchers that got rocked in their first year of SEC play will develop during summer ball and come back stronger than ever.
At times this season the Gators started four or five freshmen in the batting order. Despite that, Florida’s offense was actually a strength.
Brady McConnell, Tyler Dyson, Wil Dalton, and Austin Langworthy are likely to leave depending on their draft slot (MLB Draft begins on Monday), while Nelson Maldonado and Blake Reese are seniors that have used up their eligibility.
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