Gators, Volunteers split doubleheader; UF wins series

Florida outfielder Wil Dalton. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent/File]

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Top-ranked Florida rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat Tennessee 6-4 in 11 innings in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday.

Tennessee (19-14, 5-7 SEC) held off Florida’s late charge to win the night cap, 6-4, and snap the Gators’ win streak at nine. UF is now 28-6, 9-3 in the league. Jonathan India managed to stretch his hitting streak to 19 games.

“It’s never easy to win on the road, and the weather this weekend was a little bit different than we’re used to playing in,” UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought our guys played very well this weekend. For the most part we played good defense, we made some errors in the first game today, but other than that we gave ourselves a chance to win in the second game today and that’s really all you can ask for.”

After staking the Volunteers to a 3-0 lead in the first game, the Gators began their comeback in the fifth when Keenan Bell doubled and moved to third on Nick Horvath’s single. Bell then scored on Deacon Liput’s fielder’s choice. Jonathan India, who extended his hitting streak to 18 games, doubled in Liput to make it 3-2.

Wil Dalton hit a two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning to give UF a 4-3 lead. Liput had reached on a double and India was walked to set up Dalton.

The Vols tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the inning off UF closer Michael Byrne to send the game into extra innings.

In the 11th after a walk and a hit batter, JJ Schwarz hit a sacrifice fly and Austin Langworthy’s groundball was misplayed for an error to put the Gators up 6-4.

Freshman Jordan Butler (3-1) tossed three innings of scoreless relief to earn the win, as the Gators won the series. Zach Linginfelter (2-3) took the loss in relief.

Friday’s game was postponed because of rain. The Gators won Saturday’s game 22-6.

In the second game, Liput homered in the first inning to give the Gators a 1-0 lead until the Volunteers scored their six runs in the third inning off Florida starter Tyler Dyson (4-2), who was charged with all the runs while allowing three hits and five walks over 2 2/3 innings.

A Dalton (12) homer and Bell’s RBI double brought the Gators to within 6-3 in the sixth.

Langworthy’s infield single with the bases loaded brought in one run in the seventh, but the Gators left the bases loaded to end the game.

“Wil put a really good swing on the ball (in the seventh) and drove it to the warning track, we had the tying run in scoring position there at the end,” O’Sullivan said. “We made it really interesting there. We won an extra-inning game in the first one today, so all-in-all it was a good weekend.”

The Gators remain on the road and play at Florida State at 6 p.m. Tuesday.


  1. Dyson seems to be having control problems his last two outings. Maybe it was the cold weather and weird schedule, but if this continues maybe Sully should consider making Leftwich the Sunday starter and use Dyson as a middle reliever. Leftwich seems to have better control and has really good stuff. I guess you can’t judge a guy on two bad starts though. Sully knows best.