Takeaways from Florida Gators' baseball victory over Florida A&M

David Whitley
Gator Sports

Florida needed a get-well game and it got one Tuesday night. The Gators beat Florida A&M 13-3 at Florida Ballpark to break a three-game losing streak.

Georgia finished that sweep of Florida with a 14-8 win that left the Gators groping for answers halfway through a befuddling season.

“Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of negativity about what’s going on, but we have to band together,” coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “We have a long way to go in this season. We have to get better.”

Milestone:Coach Kevin O’Sullivan picks up 600th win as Florida baseball clinches SEC series at Alabama

Pre-game::Florida Gators baseball looks to get back on track with home game vs. FAMU

Rattlers' ride:FAMU baseball sweeps Alabama A&M, riding 6-game SWAC win streak

The first game of the second half of the season was certainly better, but FAMU (12-18) is literally not in the Gators’ league. Regardless, Florida will take an encouraging outing wherever it can find one these days.

For the first time all season, the Gators (19-10) went into a game unranked in four of the five national polls. USA Today still has them at No. 22, but other voters have been less than impressed with Florida’s inconsistent pitching.

The Gators got good news there Tuesday. Nick Pogue pitched three scoreless innings before being relieved by Nick Ficarrotta. The Rattlers didn’t get a hit until the fifth inning, by which time Florida had an 11-0 lead.

The Gators had three home runs, two coming off the bats of the Fabian brothers. Deric and Jud both went deep in the fifth inning.

Florida returns to the SEC grind Thursday, with No. 2 Arkansas coming to Gainesville for a three-game series.

Here are takeaways from Tuesday's game. 

Nick Pogue pulls through

Florida's pitcher Nick Pogue (20) was the starter for the Gators in the matchup against FAMU, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Florida Ballpark in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators won 13-3.

Nick Pogue’s been struggling to return from Tommy John surgery and had his best outing of the season. In his first start March 3 against Seton Hall, Pogue lasted 1.2 innings, walked three batters and gave up three hits. On March 23 against Bethune-Cookman, Pogue faced only six batters and walked four of them.

From the game:Baseball: Ocala's Jud Fabian lifts Florida Gators to 3-2 victory over Bethune-Cookman

Given that, there was a bit more focus on the pitcher than usual Tuesday night when Pogue took the mound. His first two pitches were strikes. He followed that with three balls and visions of Bethune-Cookman were probably dancing in O’Sullivan’s head.

But FAMU’s Zeddric Burnham grounded out, and Pogue got rolling. He retired all nine batters he faced and had three strikeouts.

The Bash Brothers from Ocala

The Gators came in with 54 home runs, the fifth-highest total in the nation. They finished with 57 home runs, all three coming in the fifth inning.

It was certainly a memorable frame for the Fabian family from Ocala. Freshman Deric Fabian hit a two-shot to centerfield. One out later, Jud Fabian hit one over the leftfield berm and out of Florida Ballpark.

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It was the first time the Fabians hit home runs in the same game at Florida. As best as UF officials could remember, it was probably the first time brothers have hit home runs in the same inning in school history.

Jud, a junior centerfielder, came in tied for seventh nationally with 12 home runs. He’s also tied with Wyatt Langford for a team-leading 31 RBI.

Florida A&M's outfielder Zeddric Burnham (21) with a RBI single in the top of the eighth inning against UF, Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at Florida Ballpark in Gainesville.

Rough night for FAMU pitching

The Rattlers were coming off a sweep of Alabama A&M, which included an 8-0 shutout and a 4-1 win. The strong pitching did not make the trip to Gainesville.

Starter Dallas Tease held the Gators to one run through two innings, then UF loaded the bases in the third inning. Tease walked in a run, then threw a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Josh Rivera doubled in two runs to essentially put the game away.

Overall, seven FAMU pitchers gave up 16 hits. At least it wasn’t as bad as the March 2 game against Florida, when the Gators had 17 runs.

UF has now won 10 straight against the Rattlers and is 28-1 overall vs. FAMU.