Florida baseball: 3 things learned from Gators' mid-week series with South Florida

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida's catcher BT Riopelle (15) with a three run homer in the bottom of the first inning against Charleston Southern's Buccaneers, Friday, February 17, 2023, at Condron Family Baseball Park in Gainesville, Florida. The Gators beat the Buccaneers 13-3. [Cyndi Chambers/ Gainesville Sun] 2023

The second-ranked Florida baseball team (4-1) split a two-game series with USF this week, winning 6-1 on Tuesday night and losing 10-9 on Wednesday night in Condron Family Ballpark.

Here are three things that were learned in the short series:

Florida's bullpen needs more work

Florida relievers Blake Purnell, Fisher Jamison and Anthony Ursitti combined to give up seven runs (four earned) in the top of the ninth inning in Wednesday night's loss.

An error by right fielder Ty Evans didn't help matters. Florida entered the top of the ninth leading 8-3 and appeared headed for its fifth win in a row to start the season before the late meltdown.

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Bats remain hot

Florida combined for 15 runs in the two-game series and has scored 52 runs in five games. First baseman Jac Caglianone went 6-for-8 with two home runs and 3 RBIs in the two games against USF.

Defensive lapses hurt Gators

After playing flawless in the field last weekend against Charletson Southern, Florida had four errors in the two games against USF. The most critical was the Evans misplay in right field, which opened the floodgates in the ninth inning.

Third baseman Colby Halter had an error on Tuesday night in Tampa for the Gators, while Florida committed three errors on home on Wednesday, with pitcher Tyler Dietz and shortstop Josh Rivera also charged with errors.

Up next

The Gators will host Cincinnati for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network Plus, WRUF AM 850).