Florida Gators baseball gets best of Missouri in SEC weekend series, winning two of three

Zachary Huber
Gators Wire

Starter Nick Pogue, first baseman Khris Armstrong and shortstop Joshua Rivera lifted Florida baseball to a 4-3 game and series victory over the Missouri Tigers on Sunday in Columbia, Missouri.

Pogue quieted the Tigers' offense for 6 2/3 innings while only allowing five hits and three earned runs. Armstrong went 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Rivera finished 1-for-4 with a two-run home run.

After three scoreless innings, Missouri struck first in the bottom of the fourth via back-to-back jacks from third baseman Luke Mann and left fielder Trevor Austin.

The Gators responded quickly in the top of the fifth via Rivera's two-run blast to left field. They then grabbed the lead 4-2 in the next inning when Armstrong singled with the bases loaded, driving in designated hitter Jac Cagilanone and second baseman Sterlin Thompson.

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The Tigers earned a run back in the bottom of the seventh when their right fielder Ross Lovich singled with runners on first and second, which also signaled the end of Pogue's outing. Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan called on reliever Blake Purnell who got the final out of the inning to end the threat.

Ryan Slater, who relieved Purnell in the eighth, closed out the matchup the ninth, picking up his fourth save of the season. He finished with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

"You know, Missouri played well all weekend," O'Sullivan said. "Credit Nick Pogue. He was just outstanding, other than the two solo home runs there in the fourth. But he was just outstanding... I'm really pleased with how Ryan (Slater) bounced back to close out the game."

On Friday night, starter Brandon Sproat threw a career-high 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball while Colby Halter, Josh Rivera, Jac Caglianone and Wyatt Langford all connected for home runs in UF's 13-1 victory. The Tigers evened the series with a 5-3 win on Saturday night. 

The Gators return home to close out the final four games of the 2022 regular season at Condron Family Ballpark. They host rival Florida State on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (SEC Network).