Shore, Alonso lead Gators in win over Missouri
Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:13 p.m.
A bad week for Florida’s baseball team got a lot better Friday night.
Who: Missouri (19-22, 6-13) at Florida (28-15, 13-6)
Where: McKethan Stadium
Logan Shore threw 7 1/3 innings of five-hit baseball and Peter Alonso had five RBIs as Florida handled Missouri 7-1 Friday night.
After midweek losses to under-.500 teams (Jacksonville and Florida A&M), the No. 6 Gators not only bounced back with a win but took over sole possession of the SEC lead when Alabama lost 9-3 at South Carolina.
“Baseball is awesome,” said Florida junior catcher Taylor Gushue, who had two hits and scored twice. “It stinks sometimes. It was great tonight.”
Shore left the game with one out and one on in the eighth inning and that runner scored on a wild pitch by Florida reliever Bobby Poyner. Shore, a true freshman, lowered his earned run average to 1.76 and is now 5-2 on the season.
He was especially effective throwing his changeup for strikes late in counts.
“They weren’t good, they were great,” Gushue said. “His bullpen was outstanding so I had a feeling he’d pitch well.”
Florida is now 28-15, 13-6 in the SEC while Missouri drops to 19-22 and 6-13. The two teams play again today at noon.
Florida scored its first two runs in a strange second inning that saw the Missouri players thinking the inning was over thanks to a triple play.
With runners on first and third, Florida’s Zack Powers hit a liner to first. Missouri first baseman Kendall Keeton gloved the ball, stepped on first and fired to third where Gushue had left for the plate.
It appeared to be a rare first-to-third triple play, but Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan asked home plate umpire Jacob Asher for help. Asher conferred with the other umpires and it was ruled that the ball had skipped into Keeton’s glove and the only out that was recorded was when he stepped on first.
Gushue was sent back to third because he had not scored when the out call was made, but Alonso followed with a single up the middle to score two runs.
“It was probably the turning point in the game,” O’Sullivan said. “You don’t score after that happens and momentum shifts. We were more focused in our at-bats up and down the lineup.”
Florida added two more in the third when Harrison Bader singled home one run and Braden Mattson brought another home with a sacrifice fly.
With a 4-0 lead, Shore cruised. He allowed only five hits and walked none. Three of the hits he allowed were leadoff singles in the first six innings but those runners never got any closer to scoring than second base.
“It’s hard for a freshman to pitch on the weekend, let alone Friday nights,” O’Sullivan said. “They don’t come around very often.”
The Gators added a single run in the sixth when Powers singled with two out and Alonso followed with a triple off the wall in left-center field.
“It thought it was (out) off the bat,” Alonso said. “I caught it pretty sweet.” Alonso added a two-run double in the eighth after a pair of Gators were hit by pitches.
Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.