The opening series for the 2022 Florida Gators baseball team looked eerily reminiscent of the team that underwhelmed a year ago.
A veteran lineup that struck out too often and seemed to lack aggression at the plate, a lack of situational hitting, and inconsistent pitching plagues the Gators over the first weekend of the new season.
Sunday’s starter, freshman Pierce Coppola, pitched well enough, though he went deep in too many counts and was unable to pitch through the fifth inning.
Florida took a 3-0 lead early, before giving up five straight to Liberty to drop the first series of the season.
In the fourth inning, Josh Rivera ripped a RBI double down the left field line to plate Wyatt Langford and catcher BT Riopelle crushed a two-run homer beyond the right field berm. His blast came after a pair of foul balls that were smoked down the line, but ended up just foul.
The Flames got all three back the following half-inning, highlighted by Aaron Anderson’s two-run homer to left.
The next inning, Philip Abner (0-1) gave up the go-ahead run on sacrifice fly that scored Derek Orndorff. The Flames tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. It would prove unnecessary as the Gators managed just one bunt single and a walk over the final three innings.
Florida will trevel to Stetson on Tuesday before returning home against North Florida on Wednesday in midweek action.