Two-out runs help Florida over UNF
Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:46 a.m.
Florida's ability to produce two-out runs produced the Gators' second midweek win in as many nights Wednesday at McKethan Stadium.
The Gators, who scored all five of their runs with two outs in their 5-1 victory over UCF on Tuesday, scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a 7-5 UNF lead and nip the Ospreys, 8-7, in a back-and-forth contest Wednesday evening at McKethan Stadium.
“It was quite interesting,” coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “We used eight pitchers and a lot of different things happened tonight, but I was pleased with how we hung in there.”
Junior second baseman Casey Turgeon's RBI single, his third hit of the night, proved to be the game-winning hit for the Gators (4-1), who won their third straight game and fifth in the last six meetings with the Ospreys (2-2).
“It was a long game, and getting that single up the middle, there's nothing better than taking the lead in the last inning,” Turgeon said. “I got in there and felt confident, and that's just what you've got to do.”
The Gators rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the seventh on junior Taylor Gushue's sacrifice fly that scored sophomore Richie Martin, who led off the inning with a double and was sacrificed to third by Turgeon.
UNF had grabbed a quick lead, combining three hits with two walks to plate four runs in the top of the second inning and chase UF freshman starter Dane Dunning in the process.
But the Gators answered with a four-spot of their own in the home half of the third.
Freshman center fielder Buddy Reed led off with a walk, and Martin was hit by a pitch. Turgeon then lined an RBI single to right to plate Reed with UF's first run and end the evening for UNF starter Nick Miller, who was replaced by reliever Jordan Nolan.
Freshman third baseman Pete Alonso's long sacrifice fly to center not only scored Martin from third, but was deep enough to allow Turgeon to move from second to third. That turned out to be big moments later when Nolan uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Turgeon to race home with UF's third run of the inning, and junior first baseman Braden Mattson then tied it with a sharp single off the first base bag to score Gushue with the tying run.
UNF scored three times in the top of the eighth to retake the lead, 7-5, setting the stage for UF's last at-bat heroics.
Junior Ryan Harris (1-0), the seventh of eight UF pitchers, picked up the win while freshman Shaun Anderson picked up the save with a scoreless ninth in his Gator debut.
UNF's Ryan McMahon (0-1), the last of four Osprey hurlers, took the loss.
Turgeon (3 for 5, 2 RBIs) led an 11-hit UF attack, while Mattson and Alonso each had two hits.
Former Santa Fe standout Kyle Brooks led the Ospreys at the plate, going 3 for 5.
“It was one of those games that was back-and-forth,” O'Sullivan said. “There were so many good things, starting on defense where we turned four double plays.”
Next up, the Gators head for Coral Gables and a three-game series with No. 17 Miami this weekend. First pitch for Friday's series opener at Mark Light Stadium is set for 7 p.m.