The game of baseball offers fans a chance to see something new anytime its being played, or so the adage goes.
On Tuesday, Gators’ freshman shortstop Deric Fabian managed to strikeout despite never swinging and missing at a third strike.
Following the second pitch of Fabian’s fifth inning at-bat, home plate umpire, Scott Cline, raised his fist to call the batter out. Fabian had called for time prior to the first pitch of the at-bat, but it wasn’t granted. The ruling was that Fabian’s foot wasn’t inside the batter’s box which results in a strike. Unfortunately for Fabian, it was the third strike.
Fortunately for Florida, however, Josh Rivera followed by taking the next pitch out of the park and giving the Gators a 5-2 lead over Florida State.
Rivera’s efforts led Florida to a 6-3 win over their rival from Tallahassee Tuesday in Jacksonville in front of 8,122 fans.
Florida State actually got out to an early 1-0 lead after a leadoff double came around to score in the second inning.
The Gators evened the score in the bottom of the second as Josh Rivera hit a chopper that went to the corner in left. Deric Fabian was given the green light and scored all the way from first base.
Florida LF Wyatt Langford stole the shown in the third, robbing a three run homer from Lacey that likely would have swung momentum. Langford followed that catch with a sliding catch in foul territory to end the inning and the FSU threat.
The ‘Noles did add a run in the fourth on a bases loaded walk surrendered by Nick Ficarrotta. The Gators got that one back just before Rivera’s homer on BT Riopelle’s RBI groundout.
On the mound, Garrett Milchin lasted just 2.1 innings, but that was explained by head coach Kevin O’Sullivan as keeping the right hander available for this weekend’s series at Georgia (Thursday – Saturday). Brandon Neely picked up his first win, tossing 1.2 innings of shutout ball. Blake Purnell (S, 2) closed things out with 2.2 innings of work.
For Florida, the domination of their rival continued. The Gators have won eighteen of the last twenty-one meetings between the teams. The two teams will meet in Tallahassee on April 12 before making up the previously postponed Gainesville date on May 17.