Young, Magliozzi shut down Ole Miss for series win
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 4:29 p.m.
Florida pitchers Danny Young and Johnny Magliozzi combined for a four-hit shutout and the Gators gave them all the support they needed with a three-run fourth inning capped by senior Vickash Ramjit's two-run homer to claim a 4-0 win over No. 11 Ole Miss Sunday before 2,934 fans at McKethan Stadium.
The victory, on the heels of junior All-American Jonathon Crawford's complete-game, two-hit shutout Saturday, gave UF (13-16, 4-5) its first Southeastern Conference series win of the season as well as the Gators' first back-to-back shutouts since March of 2010.
“It's not easy to do in college baseball, and to do it in back-to-back games against a quality team like Ole Miss really says a lot about our pitching,” head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said.
Young (1-2) tossed 5 1/3 innings of one-hit ball in his first SEC start to pick up his first collegiate win.
“To be honest, we were looking for like four or five innings out of him,” O'Sullivan said. “We were going to go to Mags as early as we needed to today. He (Young) obviously exceeded our expectations and gave us exactly what we wanted and more.”
The lefty from Boca Raton noted he was inspired by Crawford's mound performance a day earlier.
“That was huge for us, for him to go all nine,” Young said. “It saved our bullpen and let us have everyone for today.”
It turned out all the Gators needed was Magliozzi.
The fiery right-hander scattered three hits over the final 3 2/3 innings to earn his fifth save of the season, highlighted by a clutch effort in the top of the eighth when the Rebels (23-6, 4-5) mounted their best scoring threat of the day, putting runners on second and third with only one out.
After a visit from O'Sullivan, Magliozzi bore down and retired Austin Bousfield, the Rebels' No. 3 hitter, on a foul pop to catcher Taylor Gushue, then struck out clean-up hitter Stuart Turner to end the threat.
Florida jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring an unearned run off Ole Miss starter and loser Chris Ellis (1-2) on an infield hit by Gushue, two errors and a wild pitch.
UF missed a golden opportunity to take an even bigger lead an inning later, loading the bases with nobody out before coming up empty when Ellis got Casey Turgeon to line out to short right field, then got freshman Harrison Bader to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Ellis, however, could not work out of trouble in the third.
He issued a leadoff walk to Gushue, and clean-up batter Justin Shafer followed with a line-drive double to left, his SEC-leading 12th two-bagger of the year. Ole Miss left fielder Tanner Mathis tried to throw Shafer out at second, but his throw was offline and allowed Gushue to race home with UF's second run.
Zack Powers' sacrifice bunt moved Shafer to third, and Ramjit stepped to the plate and clubbed a two-run shot into the left field bleachers on the second pitch he saw for his third homer of the year, ending the day for Ellis.
“It felt pretty good,” Ramjit said. “But the win felt better, honestly.”
A trio of Ole Miss relievers held UF scoreless the rest of the way, but the Rebel bats just could never get going as Gator pitchers held them scoreless over the final 18 innings of the series.
“We've been waiting for a weekend to kind of turn the corner and kind of take a big step in the right direction,” O'Sullivan said. “I certainly hope that this weekend will do that for our team.”
UF will look to win its third game in a row when the Gators host UCF Tuesday night at 7.