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UF Baseball: No. 15 Gators Earn Road Win at Jacksonville

Photo by Anna Carrington

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY DENVER PARLER

Florida racked up 13 hits as five batters had a multi-hit game

No. 15 Florida baseball earned an 8-7 victory at Jacksonville on Tuesday at John Sessions Stadium on the Jacksonville University campus. Florida (26-11, 9-6 SEC) extended its winning streak to a season-best six games.

Five Gators had multiple hits, and left-handed pitcher Trey Van Der Weide threw 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Freshman right-hander Jordan Carrion needed just one pitch to pick up his first career save.

Duncan Hunter put Jacksonville (7-23, 0-9 Atlantic Sun) ahead, 3-0, in the first with a bases-clearing double to left field, but Sterlin Thompson answered in the next half inning, following Jud Fabian’s leadoff single with a two-run blast to right center to get two runs back.

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Florida climbed into the lead in the third behind Colby Halter’s two-out, two-RBI opposite-field base hit. Following a Kirby McMullen walk and a Thompson base hit, Josh Rivera drew a walk to load the bases and set the table for Halter to push UF ahead, 4-3. Cory Acton kept the Gators’ third inning rolling, sneaking a base hit through the JU infield to drive Rivera in for a 5-3 Florida advantage.

Jacksonville squared the game at 5-all in the bottom of the fourth, but the Gators again bounced right back. A trio of opposite-field doubles by left-handed Florida batters powered UF’s top of the fifth. Halter led off the doubles parade, followed by Acton, pushing Halter across for a 6-5 UF advantage. Jacob Young singled to move Acton to third before Nathan Hickey’s double went off the left-field wall and plated Acton. The seesaw situation continued as JU bounced back to square the score 7-7 after the fifth.

UF edged back for good in the seventh, 8-7, when Young scored on McMullen’s grounder after walking aboard and advancing to third on a Hickey single to right. Van Der Weide steadied the Gators’ efforts on the mound, striking out three in 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and no runs to earn the win. Ryan Cabarcas threw 1.2 scoreless innings before giving way to Carrion for the save.

NOTABLES

  *   Florida had 13 hits, the fourth straight game with double-digit hits.
  *   All three of Sterlin Thompson’s home runs this season have come on the road (3/28 at SC, 4/10 at Tennessee). It marked his second three-hit game of the season (4/6 vs. Stetson).
  *   All three runs in the Florida third came with two outs.
  *   Cory Acton went 2-for-4 with two RBI. He had three hits and three RBI this season entering Tuesday’s game.
  *   Over the last four innings, the Florida pitching staff allowed one hit and no runs.

FROM COACH KEVIN O’SULLIVAN

On Florida’s offense…
“I thought offensively we were really good, and we only made one miscue at third base, but I thought defensively we were really good. I thought they battled, fell behind early three-nothing and obviously Sterlin’s two-run homer in the top of the second got us right back in the ballgame. I thought that was a huge turning point, especially early in the game.”

On freshman starting LHP Timmy Manning…
“I think what you see is typical of really talented freshmen. He shows flashes of putting together some really quality pitches, and then there’s other times where, like young pitchers do, they have a four-pitch walk with two outs and nobody on and find themselves in a little bit of trouble. But you certainly see those flashes of really putting this whole thing together.

UP NEXT: Florida travels to Auburn for three games this weekend, available on radio on WRUF 850 AM/98.1 FM in Gainesville, 1010XL in Jacksonville and on any mobile device via the TuneIn app (search for the “Florida Baseball” station). SEC Network+ will stream the games on Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.), and Saturday’s game will be televised on SEC Network.

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