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UF Baseball: No. 1 Gators’ Winning Streak Halted by No. 15 Florida State

Jud Fabian and the Gators will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season this weekend.
Photo by Piper Hansen

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

Florida could not get anything going at the plate Tuesday night, and a pair of streaks were halted as a result, with the No. 1 Gators falling, 2-0, to No. 15 Florida State.

Florida fell to 16-1 on the season, ending the third-longest winning streak in program history. The loss to the Seminoles also snapped UF’s 11-game winning streak in the series; their last defeat was June 11, 2016, when the Gators were shut out in the opening game of the Gainesville Super Regional.

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While the Gators were shut out for the first time since March 21, 2019, their pitching staff impressed.

Sophomore Nick Pogue started and took the loss but allowed just one run over three innings and racked up five strikeouts. Freshman Tyler Nesbitt surrendered just two hits and struck out four in three scoreless innings. Sophomore Christian Scott bailed himself out of a jam with three consecutive strikeouts in the seventh before allowing two hits to open the eighth and watching his streak of 9.2 scoreless innings end with a sacrifice fly. Freshman Ryan Cabarcas and sophomore Ben Specht each threw a hitless inning to close the game.

The three Gators to record a hit in the game were senior third baseman Kirby McMullen, sophomore first baseman Kendrick Calilao, and sophomore outfielder Jacob Young, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games – which is now the second-longest run in head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s tenure.

STANDOUT STAT: 15 – strikeouts by the Gators’ pitching staff, tying the season high they set against Florida A&M last Wednesday.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Nesbitt. The freshman drew praise from Coach O’Sullivan for his three scoreless innings, his second-longest outing of the season, which kept the Gators in a one-run game into the final third of the evening. It was all the more impressive given the situation (a rivalry game) and the crowd (a season-high 5,276 attendance).

FROM COACH KEVIN O’SULLIVAN:

On the loss tonight… “Got to credit their starter; he held us to one hit over six innings, and we struck out seven times. Their relief guy that came in at the end was really good. We made some soft contact in the early part of the game and didn’t do a very good job making some adjustments, something we obviously need to learn from. Bit of a rough start on the mound – walked the leadoff man, and he ended up scoring.

“I thought Tyler Nesbitt came in and did an outstanding job again, holding [the 1-0 game] right there. Christian [Scott] had second and third with nobody out and had the big inning where he struck out the side. Then Ryan [Cabarcas] and Ben [Specht] came in and did what they were supposed to do.

“Obviously we are disappointed with only three hits, but maybe this will bring us back down to reality a little bit, because we’ve only scored two runs the last 18 innings. We’ve got to do a better job of making some adjustments and putting some better at bats together in the early part of the game.”

UP NEXT: Florida welcomes No. 3 Georgia for a three-game series at McKethan Stadium. The series opener is slated for Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s and Sunday’s games will be televised by SEC Network, with first pitch times scheduled for 7 p.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.