Florida has to rally to defeat Samford and sweep series

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Sophomore outfielder Jacob Young was 4-for-5 with two RBI and a double Sunday to lead the Gators over visiting Samford.

Third-year sophomore outfielder Jacob Young had himself a day for the No. 7 Florida Gators baseball team Sunday at Florida Ballpark.

Young delivered the walk-off hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Gators defeated Samford 10-9 to sweep the series. It was Young’s fourth hit in five at bats. He notched the first four-hit outing of his career, scored a run, registered two RBI, and drew a walk.

Not only did he deliver the game-winning hit, Young’s single to open the first extended his hitting streak to 26 games, tying Brad Wilkerson (1997) for the second-longest hitting streak in school history.

The Gators (6-2) led by as many as four runs, trailed by two, regained a one-run lead, lost it on a single pitch, but rebounded once more and walked off a series sweep.

Florida trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the first and only needed its first two batters to tie the game. Young led off with a single, and third-year sophomore outfielder Jud Fabian took a 3-2 pitch deep to left field for a game-tying home run. The Gators brought the go-ahead run across via a one-out double by fourth-year junior utility player Jordan Butler, a Samford throwing error, and a Samford balk.

A leadoff walk in the second by freshman infielder Colby Halter turned into a run when Young doubled to left center. Halter drove in two runs of his own the following inning, after freshman outfielder Sterlin Thompson drew a two-out walk and third-year sophomore infielder Kris Armstrong doubled.

A solo home run in the fifth and a five-run sixth inning turned the game in Samford’s favor, but Florida put together a rally in the eighth. Singles by Armstrong, Halter and freshman infielder Jordan Carrion set the table for Young. It would be the only time Young did not reach base Sunday. Fabian picked him up the next at bat with a game-tying single to center. A groundout by second-year freshman catcher Nathan Hickey put the Gators in front, 9-8.

Yet another Samford (3-4)home run tied the game in the ninth, and the Gators had the tying run 90 feet away with nobody out after a throwing error, balk and passed ball. A pair of strikeouts and intentional walk of Halter brought Carrion to the plate. Carrion battled for a six-pitch walk, which brought Young to the plate.

Young lined the first pitch into left center for the game-winning hit.

Florida continues its 13-game home stand Wednesday evening against Florida Atlantic. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., with SECNetwork+ streaming live, and 98.1-FM/850-AM providing radio coverage.