UF signee Tillotson looks sharp


My recruiting blogs have always revolved around football, but after getting the chance to see Florida baseball signee Jacob Tillotson live Tuesday night, I figured some fans would be interested in what the Gator recruit had to offer.

I haven’t watched many baseball prospects in my lifetime (which hasn’t been that long), but the Lake City Columbia infielder definitely looks like someone primed for the college limelight. At 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Tillotson is a very quick and athletic shortstop. He’s not a power hitter, but he’s got great bat speed. The ping off his bat is music to a baseball enthusiasts’ ears.

In Columbia’s 1-0 win over Palm Beach Gardens at Buchholz High Tuesday night, it was Tillotson who delivered the hit of the night when his line drive to center field knocked in the only run of the game in the third inning. He finished 2-for-3 on the night with a pair of singles.

Tillotson won the game with his bat, but kept Palm Beach Gardens from sniffing a comeback with some nice moves in the field. He made a great diving catch in shallow left field to end the third inning, but his best catch of the night might have come when Tigers catcher Zach Espenship tried to throw out a runner at second, but his throw got away from him, sending the ball to the right of the bag. With his body prepared to go left, Tillotson somehow twisted his entire body over to make the sprawling catch to keep the runner at second.

Even with all the hype surrounding him, Tillotson said he it has never gotten to his head. The ever-so-humble Tillotson has something way more important on his mind at the moment.

“I try not to think about it at all,” Tillotson said. “All I try to do is win, so I don’t have time to think about it.”

Tillotson said he’s excited about joining the Gators this summer and said he talks to Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan at least once a week and considers their relationship “fun.”

With baseball and school, Tillotson said he hasn’t been able to see every home Florida baseball game this year, but has been keeping up with his future school as often as possible.

“I’ve been keeping up with them on the Internet,” he said. “I try to go to as many games as I can.”