Saturday, May 7, 2016

UF Baseball: #1 Florida Defeats Tennessee in Series Opener

The No. 1 Florida Gators (39-7, 15-6 in SEC play) defeated the Tennessee Volunteers (24-22, 6-16 in SEC play) last night by a score of 7-2.

Logan Shore (9-0, 2.14 ERA) remained undefeated on route to his ninth victory of the year. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits, struck out two, and walked one in six innings of work.

Frank Rubio entered in the seventh inning in relief of Shore, but was pulled after giving up a leadoff double. After Rubio's brief appearance, Dane Dunning came in and shut the door. He allowed just one hit over three innings while striking out four and hitting a batter. He also induced a clutch double play ground ball in the bottom of the seventh to get him out of a one-out bases-loaded jam.

Offensively, Florida banged out 11 hits in the contest. Four Gators had a multi-hit game, with three of those players hitting in the heart of the batting order. 

Kicking it off from the three-hole was designated hitter JJ Schwarz. He went 2-5 with a run scored. Right behind Schwarz in the four-hole, first baseman Peter Alonso went 2-4 with his team-leading 13th double of the season, two runs scored, and an RBI.

In the five-hole, second baseman Deacon Liput went 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Rounding out the group from the seven-hole, catcher Mike Rivera went 2-4 with his sixth home run of the year, two RBI's, and a run scored.

Among those with one hit, Jonathan India (1-4) belted his third home run of the season while Jeremy Vasquez (1-4) hit his 11th double of the 2016 campaign.

Final Takeaway:
The No. 1 Florida Gators have now won three straight games over the struggling Vols. Before previewing Game 2 of the series, here are my final tidbits on last night's victory:

  • Nelson Maldonado, Pete Alonso, and Mike Rivera all made incredible defensive plays in the contest.
  • In addition to their overall three-game winning streak against the Vols, the Gators have also won three straight in Knoxville.
  • Deacon Liput made Florida's only error of the game when he mishandled a ground ball in the bottom of the third inning. 

With a chance to win the series over the rival Vols for the eighth consecutive year, the Gators will trot out 6'7 junior lefty A.J. Puk (2-2, 3.07 ERA). Tennessee will counter with a lefty of their own in sophomore Zach Warren (5-4, 3.14 ERA). 

Game time for the potential series clincher is scheduled for 4 p.m. It can be seen on the SEC Network and heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network.

*All stats accredited to

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