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Florida finished an eight-game road trip with a 5-3 record. UF took the season series against FGCU 2-1.

Tuesday April 15, 2014No. 18 Florida Baseball Caps Extended Road Trip With 7-1 Win Over FGCU

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida finished an eight-game road trip with a 5-3 record. UF took the season series against FGCU 2-1.

No. 18 Florida’s offense erupted for 15 hits and catcher Taylor Gushue drove in a pair of runs on three hits to give the Orange and Blue a 7-1 victory over Florida Gulf Coast at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers. The Gators took the season series 2-1 and finished a critical eight-game road trip that included four games against top-five teams and six games against SEC East opponents with a 5-3 record.

 

Florida’s (24-13) pitching staff of Ryan Harris, Kirby Snead, Justin Shafer and Shaun Anderson limited the Eagles to one run on four hits. Harris (2-0) earned the victory in his first career start after pitching a predetermined number of pitchers. Snead retired 11 in a row after entering to begin the third and finished his day with four innings pitched and only one hit allowed. FGCU’s Brad Anderson (2-2) picked up the loss after allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits in four innings.

 

Florida got on the board in the opening frame with three singles in the first four at-bats. Gushue drove in shortstop Richie Martin from second for the game’s first run. Ryan Harris (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) pitched a flawless first in his first start. In the second, Florida Gulf Coast threatened with two runners on and no outs, but a fielder’s choice and second baseman Casey Turgeon’s unassisted double play on a line drive kept the Eagles off the board.

 

Gushue scored Martin again in the third with a single up the middle to give the Orange and Blue a 2-0 lead. Martin led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a poor throw from the catcher. Florida tacked on two more in the fourth. Left fielder Buddy Reed dropped a one-out double down the line in left and came around to score on Turgeon’s single to right. Turgeon moved to second on an error by the catcher and came around to score on Martin’s third hit in as many trips to the plate.

 

Florida broke the game open in the seventh with three runs. Consecutive singles by center fielder Harrison Bader and Gushue led to right fielder Braden Mattson’s RBI single. Designated hitter A.J. Puk added to the lead with his second double in three games, scoring Gushue, moving Mattson to third and chasing reliever Sterling Koerner (2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER). First baseman Peter Alonso brought in Mattson with a single to left in the next at bat.

 

Shafer (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO) entered the game to start the seventh and allowed FGCU’s lone run on an RBI double. Shafer fired a perfect eighth and Anderson followed suit in the ninth to cap the UF victory.

 

Postgame Quotes:

Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan

“This was a really good game for us. I told our guys after the game that I’m proud of the way they played on this road trip. There was no let up tonight. We had some timely hits with two outs, we got some clutch hits there and I thought we ran the bases really well tonight. Turgeon swung the bat well to start the game off and I thought Gushue looked as good as he has all year. Eight of nine guys got hits. Richie Martin looked really good at the plate. A lot of guys contributed.”

 

“It was good to get Ryan (Harris) out there for his first career start. We just wanted to get him 30 pitches or so. I felt that it was important to get to a good start down here. It’s really important when you get on the road to a put a zero on the board in the first. We had a lot of confidence in Ryan. Kirby Snead was outstanding. Four innings and I don’t think he even threw 40 pitches. He’s going to be ready to go this weekend. Shafer did his job and we got Shaun Anderson out there as well. A lot of guys got into the game. We had the opportunity to get Mattson in there to catch from the seven inning on. Really a good ball game overall for us. It was a heck of a way to finish the eight game road trip.”

 

Florida Leaders:

·         Harris made his first career start after 17 appearances out of the bullpen this season.

·         Gushue drove in his team leading 31st and 32nd runs of the year with RBI singles in the first and second. The base hit in the first extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games. Gushue’s single in the seventh gives him three three-hit games this and 13 multi-hit games this year.

·         Reed extended his hit streak to four games with a one-out single in the second. Reed continued his hot hitting, reaching base in six straight plate appearances (5-5 and a walk) before recording an out in the sixth. The freshman was 3-3 on Sunday against South Carolina. Reed’s double in the fourth was his fifth of the year and gave him his fourth multi-hit game of the year.

·         Martin started the game with singles in the first, third and fourth, matching his career best for a game and giving him 14 multi-hit games this season. In the third, Martin stole his 11th base of the year and moved to third on the errant throw.

·         First baseman Peter Alonso extended his hitting streak to four game with a single in the sixth. Alonso’s RBI single in the seventh gave him  10 multi-hit games this year.

·         Puk ripped his third career double and second in three games in the seventh. Puk extended his hitting streak to four games.

 

Gators by the Numbers: 

·         Florida has claimed 18 of its last 25 contests and boasts an 9-7 record away from Gainesville (7-7 in true road games, 2-0 at neutral sites).

·         The Gators have won three in a row after consecutive come behind wins over No. 6 South Carolina in Columbia.

·         UF’s offense tallied 15 or more hits for the third time this season and the first time since Kentucky (17) on April 5. Florida is a perfect 4-0 when tallying 13 or more hits and 14-2 when outhitting its opponent.

·         UF moves to 15-6 against right-handed starters and to 6-1 in Tuesday games.

·         Florida’s defense did not commit a miscue, moving the team to 12-3 when errorless.

·         The duo of Richie Martin (SS) and Turgeon (2B) has started all 37 games at their respective positions. Gushue has started all 37 games this year, with 30 coming at catcher and seven at designated hitter.

 

Series Nuggets:

·         Florida took the season series 2-1 with tonight’s win. The teams split a pair of contests earlier this season in Gainesville (2-1 FGCU on Feb. 27; 4-0 UF on March 1).

·         The UF pitching staff held Florida Gulf Coast to three runs in the three games this season. UF outscored FGCU 12-3 in the three games.

·         Kevin O’Sullivan is 9-5 against the Eagles, 6-5 in Gainesville and 3-0 in Fort Myers. All of Florida’s games against FGCU have come under O’Sullivan.

 

Road Tripping: Tonight’s contest was the last of an eight-game road trip for the Gators. Florida finished 5-3 and will host Georgia in Gainesville this weekend. First pitch of Friday’s game is slated for 7:30 p.m. and all three games of the series will be on TV.

 

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