Florida opened a crucial series at Missouri with a massive beatdown of the Tigers. The Florida offense put up 13 runs, which was more than enough to support a strong effort from starting pitcher Brandon Sproat.
The Gators improved to 31-18 and 12-13 in SEC play while winning their sixth straight ballgame. The Tigers fell to 25-21 and 7-18 in the SEC, last in the East division.
Missouri actually opened the scoring with a solo homer from Trevor Austin to left-center in the first inning.
But, it was all Gators from that point.
The Gators recovered quickly as Colby Halter smacked a two-run dinger to right-center to put the Gators on top 2-1 in the top of the second.
Josh Rivera added to the advantage an inning later with a two run homer that also scored BT Riopelle and stretched the lead to 4-1.
The Gators continued to add to the scoreboard in the fourth, plating three runs largely from miscues by the Tigers’ defense (back to back errors by the shortstop and third baseman).
Florida followed a big fourth with an even bigger fifth as they scored five more to essentially put the game out of reach for the Tigers. The highlights of the fifth were an RBI double by Sterlin Thompson and a two-run, no-doubt homer estimated to travel 480-feet from freshman Jac Caglianone that increased the lead to 12-1.
Wyatt Langford added a solo shot in the sixth to make it 13-1.
Armed with a big lead, Florida starter Brandon Sproat cruised to one of the best performances of his career. The fireballer tossed 6.2 innings allowing just three hits and one run. Most important, he permitted just one walk and struck out seven.
Anthony Ursitti closed things out allowing just a single base runner (via walk) over the final 2.2 innings.
- Langford: 2-3, HR, RBI, 2 BB, HBP, 3 R
- Riopelle: 2-3, 2 RBI, BB, R
- Sproat: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7 K, BB
- W: Brandon Sproat (7-4)
- L: Tony Neubeck (3-3)
The Gators will continue their series against Mizzou Saturday at 3:00 PM. Florida will aim for a .500 record in conference play with Brandon Neely (2-0, 3.45 ERA) on the mound.