Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan surpasses milestone win total

Special to Gatorsports.com
Florida baseball coach Kevin O'Sullivan now owns the most wins in Gators' program history.

In his 14 seasons as Florida's baseball coach, Kevin O'Sullivan has won a national championship, five SEC titles and numerous national and league coach of the year awards.

On Tuesday night at brand new Florida Ballpark, O'Sullivan became the winningest coach in Gator program history at 557-259 with Florida's 5-1 win over Georgia State. O'Sullivan had tied Dave Fuller (1948-75) at 556 with Sunday's win over Florida A&M.

"When you get into this profession, I don't know that you can ever predict you're going to have an opportunity to coach at Florida,'' O'Sullivan, 52, said after the Gators' fourth consecutive win. "And then certainly you don't try to think too far ahead. I think that's maybe what successful coaches have been able to do. They don't get too far ahead. And then as time goes on, good things end up happening.

"It's a special night. Any time you reach a milestone like this, there are so many people that are involved, whether it be staff, coaches, players. It just seems like yesterday that I got hired by (former UF athletic director) Jeremy (Foley). And having Chip (Howard) here tonight. They went out on a limb and gave me the opportunity to run a program. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity."

The historic night for the Gators included a downer when left fielder Jacob Young's school record 30-game hitting streak came to an end. The streak is also the fourth-longest multi-season hitting streak in SEC history, behind Vanderbilt's Ryan Flaherty (36 games in 2006-07) and Warner Jones (32 games in 2003-04) and Mississippi State's Rex Buckner (31 games in 1992-93). Young went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The No. 5 Gators (10-3) set the tone at the plate in the first inning with designated hitter Kirby McMullen's two-run home run, his first of the season. The Panthers (4-10) were kept at bay from there.

UF made it 3-0 in the second when Josh Rivera's ground out drove in Colby Halter, who had doubled down the right field line and moved to third on the outfielder's error.

It became 5-0 Gators in the fourth on an RBI grounder by Halter and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Butler.

Third-year sophomore Kendrick Calilao paced the Gators with two hits, while second-year freshman catcher Nathan Hickey scored two runs.

Starting pitcher Garrett Milchin (1-0) tossed the first four scoreless innings for Florida, striking out three and allowing three hits. Trey Van Der Weide relieved in the fifth and gave up Georgia State's run in the sixth on Josh Smith's RBI single after a walk, ground out and wild pitch.

Van Der Weide went three innings, struck out three, walked one and gave up the earned run. Christian Scott took over on the mound for the final two innings, getting out of a jam in the ninth after giving up two singles.

The Gators entertain Stetson (10-3) starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The game will be live-streamed via SECNetwork + and the ESPN app and can be heard on ESPN 98.1FM/850AM WRUF.