Florida holds off Stetson late for 7-6 win

Special to Gatorsports.com

Josh Rivera's home run in the eighth inning Tuesday proved to be the winning run in No. 12 Florida's 7-6 win over Stetson at Florida Ballpark.

Stetson (19-10), which trailed from the first inning, cut Florida's lead to 6-4 with two runs in the top of the eighth.

Rivera's blast in the home half put UF up 7-4 before Christian Pregent's two-run home run in the ninth settled the final outcome. Franco Aleman earned his fourth save by getting the final three outs for the Gators.

“I think if you go back to Saturday’s game, he was the first one out of the dugout when Jordan [Carrion] hit his home run," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said of Rivera. "That spoke volumes where he is as a teammate right now. Those things don’t go unnoticed. We’re trying to move him around a little bit and give him as many opportunities as possible with Jordan playing really well at short. We’ve got some options.”

The Gators (19-9) withstood three home runs by the Hatters and overcame four errors.

Rivera also had two doubles and two RBI, Sterlin Thompson also went 3 for 4 with an RBI, Jacob Young had two hits and scored two runs and Jordan Butler had two hits, RBI and run scored.

"Offensively, I thought we were really good," O'Sullivan said of the Gators' 13 hits. "We just made some mistakes. The bottom line is, we made four errors tonight and still waiting to put together a complete game. We got really good starting pitching. We struck out only four times.

"But we didn’t play very good defense. We’ve just somehow got to figure out a way to put all three phases of our game together.”

Florida gets that chance starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday against visiting Florida A&M (10-16). The game will air on SEC Network+ and fans can hear the action on 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF.