The Florida Gators baseball team will start the 2020 season with a 1-0 record. The Gators got in the win in their last season opener at Alfred A. McKethan Stadium. Florida’s offense and pitching were clicking as they defeated the Marshall Thundering Herd 9-2. Junior right-handed pitcher Tommy Mace earned his first win of the season. The Gators offense had a good night as they score nine runs on eleven hits.
The Florida Gators got things started in the first inning with a leadoff infield single by Jud Fabian. Sophomore Kendrick Calilao would then drive Fabian in he ripped a single up the middle.
Marshall would answer with a little two-out rally in the top of the third inning. Marshall’s shortstop Geordon Blanton singled up the middle and stole second base two pitches later. Luke Edwards then ripped a double off the glove of Kirby McMullen as Blanton scored.
The Gators also broke the tie in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by Cory Acton that drove in McMullen. Florida would score again in the fourth as junior catcher Cal Greenfield doubled to left centerfield scoring freshman Nathan Hickey. Jud Fabian would follow that up with a RBI single to left field and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder.
Marshall would add another run in the top of the fifth due to a throwing error by Florida’s pitcher Tommy Mace. The Gators would get that run back thanks to freshman Josh River would hit a solo home run to left field. It was Rivera’s first collegiate hit and was the first Gator since Brady McConnell in 2017 to hit a home run as their first collegiate hit.
Tommy Mace was pulled after six solid innings as his pitch count was already at 90. Mace allowed eight hits, two runs, one walk and six strikeouts on the night.
In the bottom of the seventh, Florida started to break the game open. It started with a Nick Blasucci scoring on a throwing error. Sophomore first baseman Kris Armstrong hit a towering three-run blast to deep right field making the score 9-2.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ben Specht threw 1.2 perfect innings and struck out two. True freshman Nick Ficarrotta made his collegiate debut as he pitched 1.1 innings allowing no hits, no runs, no walks and a strikeout.
Florida Gators head coach Kevin O’Sullivan shared his thoughts after tonight’s season opener win. “It’s opening night. There are a lot of different things that happen. I’ve seen guys that went in the first round struggle a little bit on the mound. Or you don’t hit like you think you’re going to hit. It’s just one of those things, you’ve just got to get through the first weekend. I thought we handled it well.”
The Florida Gators will look to clinch the series against the Marshall Thundering Herd with a win Saturday afternoon. Junior right-handed pitcher Jack Leftwich will be on the mound for the Florida Gators. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Brady Choban will get the start for the Marshall Thundering Herd. You can watch this game Saturday afternoon at 4 pm ET on the SEC Network+.