Errors cost Gators in home loss to Ga. Southern
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:26 a.m.
An ugly performance in the field by Florida eventually turned into an ugly loss to Georgia Southern on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium.
With a big assist from six Florida errors, including a critical one in the decisive 12th inning, the Eagles pinned an 8-7 loss on the Gators (3-2), ending their modest three-game winning streak.
“That's not Gator baseball,” sophomore second baseman Casey Turgeon said of the six-error performance. “It's a frustrating loss. We've got work to do and we've got to move past this.”
Appropriately enough, UF's sixth and final error helped lead to the winning run in the 12th, which came on a bases-loaded walk with no outs.
T.D. Davis opened the inning with a sharp single. The next batter, Arthur Owens, attempted to bunt Davis into scoring position. Pitcher Ryan Harris cleanly fielded the bunt, but then threw wildly to first. Hunter Thomas followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Then Cole Watson drew a walk to push across the go-ahead (and winning) run.
The Gators went quietly in the bottom of the 12th, going a quick three up and three down.
“Obviously, we did not play very well,” UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “I think that's indicative of where we are at as a team right now. Our youth.
“You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. We made six errors, and balls are getting under the gloves of infielders. It was remarkable that we were able to be in it.”
The Gators, who rallied from five runs down to tie the game with a five-run fifth inning, had a chance to close this one out in nine innings.
But with two outs in the ninth, UF closer Johnny Magliozzi gave up a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield to Davis that tied the score 7-7 and sent the game into extra innings.
“When you get within one strike of winning the ball game, you feel like you're right there,” O'Sullivan said.
UF, which hurt itself badly with five errors through the first five innings, found itself trailing 6-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. That's when the Gators turned the game around with a five spot, the big blow coming on a three-run home run by Justin Shafer with two outs to tie the game at 6-6.
The Gators then pushed across the go-ahead run in the sixth. Josh Tobias and Cody Dent left off with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third.
Tobias then scored when Harrison Bader grounded into a double play.
It looked like the shaky one-run lead was going to hold up when Magliozzi came into the game with a runner on and one out in the eighth and started mowing down the Eagles' hitters, just like he did the night before in saving a win at Central Florida.
But with one out in the ninth, Ben Morgan reached on an an infield single, then stole second. After getting a strikeout for the second out, Magliozzi gave up a two-strike bouncing single through the infield to Davis to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
The Gators managed to load the bases in the ninth with a single and two walks, but with two outs, senior Vickash Ramjit struck out.