FAU outslugs Florida, 13-11

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Florida's Austin Langworthy at McKethan Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent/File]

By Zach Abolverdi, Correspondent

The midweek winning streak for the Florida baseball team is over.

After dropping another SEC road series against LSU, UF suffered a 13-11 loss at home Tuesday to Florida Atlantic. The Gators (26-17) had won seven midweek games in a row, with their last loss coming March 6 against Florida Gulf Coast University.

“The little things are kind of getting us,” Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Eleven walks and a hit batter is disappointing. We can’t let this linger into the weekend. We gotta somehow flush it and move on, as tough as it is.”

FAU jumped out to an early 1-0 edge Tuesday when leadoff hitter Eric Rivera scored on a single by Francisco Urbaez. The Gators responded in the second with a five-run inning.

Jacob Young evened the score with a hit to plate Brady Smith. Christian Flint singled to shortstop on the following play, prompting Owls coach John McCormack to pull starter Dylan Carter after just 30 pitches for lefty Dylan O’Connell.

The first batter O’Connell faced was Austin Langworthy, who got down on an 0-2 count before blasting his first career grand slam. Langworthy’s right-field bomb made it 5-1, bringing home Flint, Young and Kendrick Calilao.

FAU cut that four-run deficit to one in the fourth inning, loading the bases with no outs. O’Sullivan sat starter Nolan Crisp following back-to-back walks and turned to David Luethje, who couldn’t pull UF out of the jam.

The Owls cleared the bases without getting a hit off Luethje, scoring Andru Summerall on a balk, Pedro Pages on a wild pitch and Bobby Morgensen on a passed ball.

Crisp gave up four hits with one strikeout and three walks in 50 total pitches.

“It’s obvious we walked too many guys,” O’Sullivan said. “The offense was doing their job. They swung the bat really well, 21 hits. It’s just unfortunate that we haven’t figured out yet to throw the ball across the plate, but we’re at where we’re at right now.”

The Gators went yard again in the bottom of the fourth with an oppo shot from Wil Dalton, who hit his own face on the scoreboard. His two-run homer plated Langworthy and extended Florida’s lead to 7-4.

It didn’t last long.

Luethje was pulled for Christian Scott in the fifth following a hit by pitch. The Owls (28-12) loaded the bases on a passed ball and a walk before a grand slam of their own, going up 8-7 on Morgensen’s homer to right field.

UF tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Langworthy’s triple to right field, scoring Flint.

After a hit by pitch advanced Dalton, Langworthy was thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice. Nelson Maldonado flied out on the next at-bat, ending the fifth with two runners on.

Justin Alintoff replaced Scott after the sixth and allowed no runs in his one inning of action, as Rivera struck out swinging. The Gators regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh with three straight hits.

Following left-center singles by Young and Flint, Langworthy singled to the right side for his career-high sixth RBI. Flint made it home on Dalton’s ground out, putting UF ahead 10-8.

O’Sullivan went with freshman pitcher Ben Specht in the eighth and he walked his first two batters, allowing the Owls to score on Morgensen’s ground out. Calilao answered in the bottom of the inning with a left-field single, plating Cory Acton to give the Gators a 11-9 cushion. That would be their final lead of the game.

Langworthy took over for Specht in the ninth and gave up two hits, as Rivera flied out to score Gunnar Lambert and Joe Montes tripled to bring home the tying run. Pages won the game for the Owls with left-field single on Florida pitcher Nick Pogue, scoring Urbaez and Montes.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Langworthy, who finished 3-for-4. “I’d rather go 0-for-4 and us win the game instead of having a scoreless ninth inning. We’ll move on to the next one and hopefully get better.”

The Gators will be back in action Friday for a three-game series against Kentucky. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.


Up next

Who: Kentucky vs. Florida

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: McKethan Stadium

Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM

Online: SEC Network+

Weekend: 6 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network) and 12 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2)

16 COMMENTS

  1. When it all comes down to it, this just isn’t a very good baseball team. They’re very young and just do not have enough reliable arms. In 2 years though, if the pitching trends upward, then this will be a very difficult team for opponents to handle. I will say, this is probably the first time I’ve seen a leadoff man hit a grand slam, have 6 RBI’s, and then take the loss on the pitcher’s mound…

  2. Said we’d struggle, especially with the pitching depth, but was surprised how our weekend starters, who’ve been here for 1 or more years, have completely digressed from last year. Those weekend starters were supposed to carry this team. As for the young kids, it’s some of the sloppiest development I’ve seen under Sully.

    Batting has been a very pleasant surprise though. We have some very good, young hitters this year. Outfield errors and such will resolve themselves after a year of play imo, BUT…

    This is probably the lowest level of itching talent we’ve had at UF since Sully has been here. Yes, the MLB has something to do with that, but in this next class, we need ELITE pitching talent, because we just don’t have it.

    I also think Sully has grown complacent since the NC a couple of years back, and he needs to re-focus and re-examine what he’s doing with this roster.

    • Todd, “I also think Sully has grown complacent since the NC a couple of years back, and he needs to re-focus and re-examine what he’s doing with this roster.” Man, Coach gets paid to do what he does and to say that he has become complacent is asinine. Why would he risk his job or reputation because he won a National Championship? You guys are worse than Hurricane fans.

      • What’s asinine is reading things into others’ comments that isn’t there. It’s always funny reading responses from you fan boys who think you have the market cornered on gator loyalty but probably didn’t know what baseball was 10 years ago. lol I’m 53 years old and followed Gator baseball since at least the mid – 70’s.

        You understand what complacency is, right son? The fact that you proved my point when you mentioned our NC and we fell off afterwards is appreciated, because we HAVE fallen off since then. Complacency is when you take things for granted. Do I think Sully has become complacent? Yes, to an extent, and he should regroup and re-focus.

        Not sure how constructive criticism suddenly makes me a Hurricane fan, but you could grow some thicker skin.

        Not sure

        • Todd, not sure a guy that was born in 66-67 was really following baseball much in the 70s. To say that Sully is complacent is a slap in the face to the coach that has had us in the CWS nearly every year. Tell us what year he had a bad rated recruiting class. Tell us what year he didnt have his team in the fight for a championship. Maybe that middle schooler in the 70s expects a little much.

  3. This not a fire Sully remark. You would have to be an idiot to start that. However, he has to look hard at how he evaluated what he had coming back, and how he evaluated these freshmen pitchers.
    He had to know that Butler and Baker ( gone for some unknown reason ) could not get the job done at the highest level. They made that clear last year……..to everyone. So to rely on them and Langworthy as his only lefties was a huge mistake he has got to have realized by now. Butler and Langworthy just can’t keep the ball down and don’t have the velocity necessary for the SEC. But Sully for whatever reason has always shorted himself with lefties.
    As for right handers ……….. its hard to believe how bad their control of the zone remains this late in the season. I know we are spoiled from the greatness Sully has recruited in the past but to fall this far is truly unbelievable . The lady’s lineup waste the pitching and Lorenz; while the men’s pitching is wasting a terrific lineup ……who would have guessed………………

    • tw before you opine on Sully’s ability to recruit last year, please read this.

      At the high school level, four Florida commits were taken on the first day.

      Outfielder Connor Scott from Plant HS in Tampa went high, going 13th overall to the Marlins. He’s projected to play center field at the next level.

      Ten picks later, Georgia catcher Anthony Seigler went to the Yankees. Seigler is catcher/pitcher that switch hits and switch pitches, but is likely to move up through the ranks as a catcher.

      At 27th overall, the Nationals took a big arm in Merritt Island pitcher Mason Denaburg. Finally, in the second round a pick 47, the Reds went back to the Gator player/recruit pool and took pitcher Lyon Richardson from Jensen Beach.

      What do you expect? Coach knows talent and he recruits it but there are things out of his control that do hamper his ability to put, year after year, great players on the field.

    • Careful TW, or your Gatorness might get questioned for just making honest, constructive observations about the team.

      Remember, no one is allowed to say anything that is remotely out of the parameters UFGator has set for us to post under. 😉 LMAO

  4. This has ended up being a “learning” year for this team, but the pitching staff doesn’t appear to be learning a whole lot if anything at all. Fact is, this may be the one of the worst, if not THE worst, pitching staff in college baseball. They had been hyped in pre-season as a great collection of power arms, which for this staff means their 95MPH fastballs end up in walks ( 11 yesterday!!!), wild pitches, passed balls and hit batters. Their team ERA is double digits!! Sully has and will no doubt continue to be a top level recruiter of strong pitching, but he may need to recruit an entire new staff for next season. Just hoping these guys get better the rest of this season or even next season will be a tough road to success.

    • DanF, “Their team ERA is double digits!!” Where did you get this information? Don’t you realize that anything you post is verifiable? Their team ERA is 5.20, wow!

      PS. It is bad but not as bad as you want it to be.

  5. My theory is that someone from FSU is tampering with the Gators’ water or groceries. It all began with the Gators’ blowout of the ‘Noles in football. Then all of a sudden the men’s basketball team was painful to watch. The gymnastics, tennis, and golf all had breakdowns at critical points in their seasons. Now, the softball and baseball teams are both having gut wrenching seasons. I tell you, it’s tampering by those nasty ‘Noles. How else do you explain the Gators sweeping the ‘Noles, taking 2 out of 3 from the ‘Canes and then stumbling against lesser teams?

      • Don’t you see that that is part of the Devil’s Spawns’ really evil scheme? They let the Gators win just enough against some traditionally great programs to allow the fans to see the unlimited potential for immortality that the Gator teams possess and then ____ slap us with losses to pedestrian programs. I tell you it is pure and unadulterated tampering and collusion by FSU. Can’t be anything else.

  6. well “72” , you missed my whole point …but that’s not unusual, Sparky usually does too.
    But you are the stat man so lets review. This staff has given up 54 runs in the last 5 games, 21 of which were in TWO games ……to Jacksonville and Fla Atlantic!!!! So maybe DanF was referring to that. You answer that the ERA is only 5.2 but what you fail to mention is that ERA is LAST IN THE SEC .This staff is also LAST IN THE SEC in runs allowed, hits allowed, opponent batting average,home runs allowed, hit batters….and is 2nd in balks as well as near the bottom in almost every other pitching category.
    And in response to my recruiting concerns, you challenge with references to 4 that got away. had to laugh….two of them were two way players and were drafted for there position play….not pitching. You were right on 1… and only one….that got away. The other pitcher could be replaced.
    To be clear……..I love Sully…..certainly one of top 5 coaches in the country and we are lucky to have him. I do not personally share the complacency theory. I just think his recruiting “process” this year and whomever he relied on….let him down..
    Absent a remarkable turnaround, this is a bad staff ……for the first time in memory.
    Stats don’t lie….do they?

  7. I agree 100% that this team isn’t nearly as good as most of Sully’s teams have been. Any reasonable person understands that in a game where hitting 4 times out of 10 is great, there are going to be some times when things dont go the way you want. Bashing the players or coaches that are working their butts off while we sit on ours just isn’t my style….that’s all.
    Go Gators