It’s unclear if the Florida Gators came in extra motivated by a disappointing series on the road against South Carolina last weekend. However, if there was any extra motivation, it propelled UF a long way.
No. 4 Florida (33-10, 12-7 SEC) defeated Missouri (24-17, 5-14 SEC) in a 11-1 run-rule beatdown that only needed seven innings to decide.
Friday starting pitcher Brandon Sproat got to work early in the series opener, retiring six straight batters with four strikeouts to kick off the contest.
The Gators took advantage of the clean scoreboard with six runs in the bottom of the second. Santa Fe College transfer Tyler Shelnut launched a three-run bomb followed by sophomore two-way player Jac Caglianone’s 24th homer of the year to make it 6-0. It put him just two home runs away from tying Matt LaPorta and Wyatt Langford’s single-season record.
Sproat let up his first hit in the fourth on a double. A pair of sacrifice flies scored the runner for what would eventually be Mizzou’s only score.
Florida took no time to respond, and that response came from an unlikely source. Redshirt freshman Michael Robertson, who had started in 39 games without a homer, launched a solo-shot over the wall for the first of his UF career. Veteran catcher BT Riopelle launched a solo bomb of his own in the fifth inning to make it 8-1 Gators.
On the mound, Sproat was able to work through seven innings with just one more hit and walk through the effort. Unbeknownst to him, this would be enough for a complete game Friday night.
The Gators entered the bottom seventh up 9-1 and approaching the run rule. After a wild pitch scored Riopelle to bring it down to one run, Shelnut finished what he started with an RBI single to close the contest.
Florida will look for the series win tomorrow against Mizzou. The game has been moved up to noon in anticipation of inclement weather. It will stream on SEC Network+.