The #1 Florida Gators improved to 2-0 after defeating the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 8-4 in today's contest. The highly touted A.J. Puk started the contest, but the junior lefty had a tough time getting settled in as the Eagles put up a four-spot against him in the third inning. It did not help either that the Eagles' rally started on a throwing error from Puk to first base.
After striking out the side in the fourth inning, Puk was pulled from the game and in position for what could have been an early season loss. He finished with a stat line of 70 pitches, six strikeouts, one walk, four runs allowed (none of them earned), and four hits allowed in four innings of work.
Relieving him was freshman righty Brady Singer. Topping out at 95 mph, Brady held it down for three innings as he struck out three and gave up no hits on route to his first win of the season as well as his collegiate career. Apart from two hit batsmen, Brady's debut was a near perfect one.
In the eighth inning, sophomore lefty Nick Horvath (a transfer from Santa Fe), came in and recorded one strike out as he retired all three batters he faced.
Closing the game out was junior righty Frank Rubio (who is actually a friend of mine). Sporting a new sidearm delivery this season, Frank was unhittable as he recorded two strikeouts and put away all three hitters he faced.
As great as the bullpen was, the Gator offense showed up in a big way today as they banged out 15 hits!
Junior left fielder Ryan Larson led the way as he went a perfect 4-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and three runs scored. In fact, the entire outfield had multiple hits as junior center fielder Buddy Reed went 2-5 with a stolen base and sophomore right fielder Jeremey Vasquez went 2-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Among the infielders, sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie went 2-5, freshman second baseman Deacon Liput went 2-4 with his first collegiate triple, three RBI's, a run scored, and his first collegiate stolen base. Rounding it out, fellow freshman third baseman Jon India only had one hit, but also recorded three RBI's, a sacrifice fly, and his first collegiate stolen base as well.
In addition to the 15 hits, Florida accomplished another amazing feat as no UF hitter went down on strikes! Also, the Gators' best player, sophomore catcher JJ Schwarz, recorded his first hit of the season today when he smoked a triple off of the right field wall. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come tomorrow as #1 Florida goes for their first sweep of the season. Sophomore righty Alex Faedo (0-0) will be toeing the rubber against redshirt sophomore rigthy Mario Leon. Game time is at 1 p.m.
*All stats accredited to FloridaGators.com