The #21 Gators opened up their 100th baseball season with a three game home stand against the Maryland Terrapins. Former Gator player and current Baltimore Oriole Matt Laporta received the honor of throwing out the first pitch. Behind great pitching and one big inning, the Gators took Game 1 tonight by a score of 4-0.
Gator pitching was phenomenal in the opening game as they held the Terrapins to no runs on just three hits. Junior Bobby Poyner was on the mound for Game 1. The lefty fell into some trouble with a bases loaded jam in the second inning, but he pitched his way out of it by striking out the side. From there, Poyner cruised. He pitched 5 and 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out five batters to earn his first win of the year. He was relieved by fellow junior Ryan Harris. The righty pitched 1 and 1/3 scoreless innings while recording one strike out. Sophomore lefty Danny Young replaced Harris in the eighth to finish the game. He struck out the final batter on rout to his first save of the year. It is also worth noting that Maryland did not get a single hit once Poyner exited the game.
Offensively, the Gators did most of their scoring in the third inning. After loading the bases, two Gators came in to score after a throwing error by the Terrapins on a chopper hit by freshman Ryan Larson. They tacked on one more when junior Taylor Gushue singled home Richie Martin with a hit up the middle. Gushue scored Martin again with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Gushue led the team with two RBI's on the night to go along with his two hits. Richie Martin was the only other Gator with two hits. The bottom of the Gator lineup did a good job at getting on base, which in turn set up many RBI opportunities for the top of the order.
The Gators will take the field at 4 p.m. tomorrow for Game 2 against Maryland. True freshman Brett Morales (0-0) is scheduled to take the mound for the Gators in his first collegiate start ever.
*Stats accredited to Gatorzone.com