Stetson finally snaps Florida's winning streak in baseball series
DELAND — After battling Florida close in the three previous meetings this season before losing, Stetson finally broke through Tuesday with a 6-1 baseball win.
The No. 9 Gators (33-15) now turn their attention to Georgia in their final regular season home games, scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start Friday and Saturday and noon Sunday at Florida Ballpark.
"Bottom line is we got two hits over eight," UF coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "With how well we've been swinging the bats, for almost a month now, I'm not quite sure why tonight went the way it did. We just have to regroup."
The Hatters (25-20) snapped an eight-game losing streak, including three losses in Gainesville by scores of 10-7, 7-6 and 9-6 this season. While Florida leads the overall series 83-53, it has just a one-game advantage, 32-31, in games played in DeLand. It's the Hatters' first win in the series since 2007.
Following a one-hour and 15-minute weather delay, Florida jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Kirby McMullen doubled and later scored on Jacob Young's run-scoring groundout.
Stetson tied it with a run in the seventh inning.
The Hatters took a commanding 6-1 lead in the eighth by scoring five runs on four hits, including a two-run home run by Eric Foggo and a two-run double by Buchholz High School graduate Andrew MacNeil.
"The game did not come down to the eighth inning," O'Sullivan said. "If we would have done what we were supposed to do offensively, we might not have been in that position."
Florida used six pitchers: Brandon Sproat, David Leuthje, Trey Van Der Weide, Christian Scott, Ben Specht (0-2), who was tagged with the loss, and Ryan Cabarcas. Making his first career start, Sproat worked a career-high four innings and allowed zero runs on just one hit and one walk while striking out two.
"I thought Brandon (Sproat) gave us a really nice start," O'Sullivan said. "And then Christian Scott came in in a really tough spot with the bases loaded and kept it to one run."
The Gators could only manage three hits off three Stetson pitchers, with Danny Garcia (3-1) earning the win.