Florida baseball rallies against Southern Miss

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:26 a.m.

PENSACOLA – A two-run seventh inning broke a tie game and lifted Florida baseball (7-6) past Southern Miss (6-7), 4-2, on Tuesday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The Golden Eagles got on the board first, putting up two runs in the fourth inning. USM shortstop Michael Sterling reached on an error and scored on a Mason Robbins’ double to left field. Sophomore left-hander Danny Young then walked Dylan Burdeaux, who scored on a Tim Lynch single.

The Gators came back with two of their own in the bottom of the sixth, ignited by a double from junior Casey Turgeon. Turgeon advanced to third on a groundout by freshman Peter Alonso. Junior Taylor Gushue was then hit by USM starter Christian Tally and Braden Mattson followed with an RBI single to left field that scored Turgeon. Junior Josh Tobias knotted the game at 2-2 with a single to left center that scored Gushue and gave Tobias his first RBI of the season.

Scoring in back-to-back innings, Florida put up another two runs in the seventh. Martin was hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced to second on a Turgeon sacrifice bunt. Alonso then drew a walk and both base runners advanced on a wild pitch. Gushue then walked to load the bases.

Mattson delivered with his second RBI of the night with a liner to right field to score Martin. With the bases loaded, A.J. Puk put the ball in play and reached on an error by the Southern Miss shortstop which scored Alonso, the fourth and final run to cross the plate for Florida.

Florida was solid from the mound all night, starting with Young, who pitched 5 innings. Young was relieved by fellow sophomore Aaron Rhodes, who threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings and chalked up his first win of the season, just the second of his career. Right-hander Ryan Harris came into the game and recorded the final out to earn the second save of his junior campaign.

"This was one of those games where we needed to scratch and claw and get a win in any way that we could," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "It was a good team win. Danny Young did exactly what he needed to do tonight.

With the victory, Florida tallied its first win against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 3-1.

The Gators return home to McKethan Stadium to play the first of a three-game series vs. Connecticut on Friday. The first pitch is slated for 7 p.m.

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