Photo by Samuel Lewis | Getty Images

After two overpowering performances offensively on Saturday, Florida’s bats cooled off resulting a disappointing loss that could’ve been a series sweep on Sunday.

No. 11 Florida (13-4) fell to Seton Hall (1-12) 6-4 on Sunday to close the weekend series 2-1. Florida’s bullpen couldn’t provide ample support to its lackluster offense and granted the Pirates their first win of the season.

Florida’s offense struggled early. The Gators were unable to record more than one hit until the third inning and went scoreless until the fourth. UF’s bullpen did its offense no favors while it got warmed up.

Nick Pogue made his first start for Florida since March of 2020, with underwhelming results. The Melbourne, Florida, native allowed three hits and two runs, and walked three batters in the process. Timmy Manning came in for relief just midway through the second inning.

Manning struggled similarly, allowing two more hits and a third run after walking a batter with the bases loaded. Nick Ficarrotta became Florida’s third pitcher in just three innings. The redshirt freshman got the Gators out of their tough third inning jam by forcing the groundout to first base.

“It’s just not one phase today,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We didn’t hit, we didn’t pitch and defensively we made some mistakes that kind of hurt us. It’s really that simple.”

The Gators offense started to get moving from that point. Jud Fabian tripled in the third inning to warm up the bats, followed by a Wyatt Langford solo-shot homer in the fourth. After a wild pitch and a sac fly earned Florida two more RBIs, the score was just 4-3 in Seton Hall’s advantage headed into the seventh.

The Pirates maintained their control of the game in the seventh after an RBi single and a run allowed off an error at third by Florida, the first fielding error this season for UF. The Gators found themselves down three, 6-3 after the seventh inning stretch.

After two more frames of offense, the deficit remained for Florida. The Gators got three quick outs to retire the top of the ninth and entered their final frame with the bottom of the batting order due up and hopes of a three-run rally. Despite an admirable attempt, O’Sullivan’s squad couldn’t get the job done and finish the series 2-1.

“We’re figuring out who we can count on and who we can’t,” O’Sullivan said. “[The loss] kind of put things into perspective. I think it started last night. We gave them some belief they could come here and win the game, and they did.”

With the loss, the Gators fall to 13-4 on the season with SEC play on the horizon and likely will face a big drop in the polls. Florida will have one more chance to iron out its inconsistencies in all phases of the game before the opening conference series at Alabama on March 18.

Key Performance

  • Wyatt Langford
    • 4 AB, 3 H, 1 RBI, 1 HR

Pitching Decision

  • Nick Pogue (L, 0-1)
    • 1.2 IP, 0 K, 3 H, 1 R

On Deck

Next up for the Gators is a single-game home stand against rival Florida State. The Seminoles are 8-5 on the season and 0-3 in away games. Florida will be FSU’s last stop before heading home from a weekend road trip to Wake Forest. The game is set for Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

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