Gators back to clicking, rout Rattlers

Florida's Nelson Maldonado. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

With freshman starter Nolan Crisp sharp on the mound, No. 21 Florida jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 12-1 rout over Florida A&M Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium.

Crisp fired off three quick, no-hit innings, allowing just two walks while striking out one over three innings before turning it over to the bullpen. In total, UF limited FAMU to just two hits, one a long, solo home run by first baseman Tucker Rayburn in the seventh to keep the Rattlers from being shut out.

“I thought all the pitchers did a really nice job,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “(David) Luethje was really efficient, he threw 32 pitches over three (innings), then the other guys (Nick Blasucci, Nick Pogue and Hunter McMullen) came in and threw one apiece.”

FAMU (11-20), meanwhile, played a sloppy game on the defensive side of the diamond, allowing six walks, committing four errors and three wild pitches to go with 14 Florida hits. A couple more hard-hit balls that could have been ruled errors also played a role.

A particularly nightmarish fourth frame put the Gators (21-10) ahead by eight. In the six-run inning, UF collected six hits, a walk, scored three runs via wild pitches and two more on back-to-back home runs to left by Nelson Maldonado and Kendrick Calilao.

“You become a little bit more selective just because he’s out of the zone,” Maldonado said of his approach in the fourth. “You just want to make sure you’re getting the right pitch to hit.”

Maldonado finished 3 for 3, while Calilao drove in three, Jacob Young had a pair of hits and an RBI and Jonah Girand drove in two runs coming off the bench. Austin Langworthy, who picked up five hits over the weekend against Alabama, collected three more Tuesday.

“It’s nice to see some stuff fall through for me,” the former Williston Red Devil said. “Especially that little bleeding double that I got. That’s a good sign when they’re falling like that.”

The Gators, who have won a season-best five in a row, will play Ole Miss in the first of a three-game set in Oxford on Friday.