It was an old fashioned pitcher’s duel at Florida Ballpark on Tuesday as the Gators defeated Jacksonville 1-0.
It was also the return of Tyler Nesbitt to the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery prior to the 2021 campaign. It had been almost exactly two years since his last appearance in a ballgame at UF (March 10, 2020).
Nesbitt, Ryan Slater, and Nick Ficarrotta combined for the three hit shutout.
Almost equally to the task was JU starter Darrell Hicks, who took the loss despite giving up just the one run, which occured after he had left the ballgame.
The Gators scattered five hits across the first five innings, two of which were bunt singles, but were unable to push a run across the plate.
Florida finally got a run on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. With two outs, Wyatt Langford walked and BT Riopelle followed with a perfectly executed bunt single. Kendrick Calilao followed with a single to left that scored Langford.
Nesbitt, working on a pitch-count, tossed 29 pitches in two innings, allowed one base hit and struck out three while only walking one. Slater (W, 1-0) pitched five innings, giving up just one hit before turning the ballgame to Ficarrotta.
Ficarrotta(S, 3) got into a bit of a jam in the eighth as a pair of JU hitters reached, but got out of it by forcing a groundout by JU leadoff hitter, Eli Flowers.
Florida improves to 11-3 with the win. These two teams will meet tomorrow night in Gainesville, as well. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM.
- Armstrong: 3-3
- Calilao: 2-3, 2B, RBI
- Ficarrotta: 5 IP, H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB
- Halter: 1-4, 16-game hitting streak