Gators walk off vs. Vols in 10th inning
Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 10:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:12 a.m.
To the casual observer, Florida's usually reliable bullpen didn't get it done Saturday night, coughing up a 2-0 lead in the eighth and ninth innings.
Who: Tennessee at Florida
When: 1 p.m.
Radio: 103.7 FM
But to Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan, the performance turned in by closer Johnny Magliozzi was a thing of beauty.
“It's easy to keep your composure when you go 1-2-3 in the ninth,” O'Sullivan said. “The tenacity and focus (when the game was tied) is what I'm going on. I thought he was outstanding.”
Magliozzi gave up the tying run in the ninth inning but stranded the bases loaded and left a runner on second in the 10th, allowing Florida a chance to win with a walk-off. Zack Powers delivered with a bases-loaded grounder to short that gave UF a 3-2 win over Tennessee in 10 innings.
“It feels really, really good to keep winning,” said freshman Harrison Bader, who had a two-strike RBI single earlier in the game.
Taylor Gushue set the inning up with a double to right on a 2-0 pitch that gave Florida runners on second and third with nobody out. In his last six games, Gushue is hitting .481 with eight RBIs.
“Earlier in the year, I don't think we had the maturity to handle that situation,” Gushue said. “With a 2-0 count, I was just looking for something to drive. Honestly, my first couple of at-bats, I don't know what I was trying to do.”
After Gushue's double, Tennessee walked Justin Shafer to load the bases and brought the infield in. Powers hit a shot to short where A.J. Simcox fielded it on knees and threw weakly home where Casey Turgeon easily beat the tag.
Florida is now 2-4 in extra-inning games.
Tennessee scored in the eighth and ninth to tie the game, but left the bases loaded in both innings. After giving up the tying run, Magliozzi struck out Christin Stewart and pinch-hitter Vance Vizcaino with the sacks full.
Magliozzi also got out of the 10th inning after a one-out double by Taylor Smart.
The Vols have left 24 runners on base in the first two games of the series.
Florida is now 25-19 and 12-8 in SEC play after winning for the 11th time in its last 12 games. UF has won nine straight home games.
The Gators allowed only eight hits, but six of them came after the seventh inning and five were surrendered by Magliozzi. Shortstop Cody Dent was one of several Gators who made outstanding defensive plays throughout the game.
“Cody Dent's defense cannot be understated,” O'Sullivan said. “I can't say enough about it.”
Florida starter Jonathon Crawford, who missed his normal Friday start with a sprained ankle, lasted into the fifth inning. He struck out five and retired 11 straight batters at one point.
“Him putting zeroes up was huge for us,” Bader said.
But in the fifth, he walked the bases loaded with two outs (one was intentional) before being replaced by Daniel Gibson. The reliever induced Scott Price to pop out to short on the first pitch to end the inning.
Florida finally broke through in the sixth inning when Turgeon walked and Gushue stroked a one-out double to left field to give UF a 1-0 lead. Florida added a run in the seventh when Josh Tobias drilled a one-out single and went to second when left-fielder Vincent Jackson's throw was off target. Bader's single up the middle scored Tobias, although the play at the plate was close until the ball kicked out of catcher David Houser's glove.
Gibson lasted until the eighth when he walked Will Maddox to lead off the inning on four pitches. Ryan Harris came in and allowed a single to Simcox before Scott Price lofted a sacrifice fly to left.
With two out and two on in the inning, Florida turned to Magliozzi. He gave up an infield single to Jackson before Smart hit a bases-loaded grounder to third. Tobias threw to second to force Jackson on a close play to end the inning.
The two teams finish off the series today at 1 p.m.