UF roundup: Gator baseball nips Kentucky, 11-10

Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6:32 p.m.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Florida freshman reliever A.J. Puk picked the right time to earn his first save when he shut down charging Kentucky in the ninth inning Saturday.

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Florida pitcher A.J. Puk earned his first career save in Saturday's 11-10 win over Kentucky.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/FILE

Puk recorded the last two outs following Kentucky's eight-run eighth and two-run ninth to help the No. 13 Gators pull out an 11-10 win over the No. 22 Wildcats, which routed UF 17-1 in the series opener Friday.

“It was a wild one, especially after yesterday's game,” UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. “I thought A.J. Puk did an outstanding job coming in and finishing out the game.”

Junior catcher Taylor Gushue matched his career best with four RBI, Jason Sternagel belted a career high four hits and freshman right-hander Logan Shore (3-1) fired seven shutout innings for the Gators (20-11, 7-5 SEC). Kentucky dropped to 21-10, 5-6.

“The message we gave the players this morning was the good thing about baseball is that when today's game started at 1:05 p.m. the game is 0-0,” O'Sullivan said. “Obviously, that is not how we wanted to script it out with a 9-0 lead. We've got to do a better job out of the bullpen there. But, a win is a win in this league. We'll take it. We're not going to be bashful about that.

“I thought our offense was really good today. We answered back, and scoring those two runs in the ninth there was really important. There are a lot to build upon going into tomorrow.”

Shore was the difference maker on the mound for the first seven innings.

Kentucky would go on to score eight runs in the eighth off of six UF relievers. UK sent 13 batters to the plate in the eighth and A.J. Reed notched his second home run of the series.

Florida responded to UK's big inning with a pair of insurance runs in the ninth.

The teams will play the rubber game starting at noon today.

Lacrosse: Shannon Gilroy scored seven second-half goals to help No. 4 Florida rally past No. 13 Johns Hopkins 10-9 in Baltimore, Md.

Florida (13-2 overall) moved to 4-0 in the American Lacrosse Conference, remaining the only undefeated team in the league. Johns Hopkins dropped to 10-2 and 1-2 in the conference.

The Gators fell behind early and trailed for most of the game, but never allowed the Blue Jays to lead by more than two goals. Florida did manage to tie the game, 2-2, with 4:16 left in the first half, but Johns Hopkins answered with two more goals and went back up, 4-2, before halftime.

Gilroy, who was silent during the first period, scored her first goal just 59 seconds into the second half and cut Johns Hopkins' lead to 4-3. Each team added a few goals before the Gators took the lead, 8-7, with 8:53 left.

Gilroy scored two more goals and the Gator defense held the Blue Jays from making a rally of their own in the final seconds.

The Gators will return to Dizney Stadium on April 13 to host Vanderbilt in Florida's final home game of the season. A senior day ceremony for Cara Canington and Krista Grabher will take place prior to the opening draw.

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