Florida baseball: 3 things we learned from Gators' mid-week split with Jacksonville

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Gators watch from the dugout during the 2023 season opener 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 No. 6 Florida baseball team (8-2) split a mid-week series with Jacksonville, winning 18-8 on Tuesday in Jacksonville and losing 10-8 to the Dolphins on Wednesday night at Condron Family Ballpark.

Here are three things learned from the short series:

Jac Caglianone remains hot at the plate

Caglianone belted his NCAA-leading 8th homer of the season in the first inning on Wednesday, giving Florida an early 1-0 lead. He's batting .410 on the season with 8 homers and 15 RBIs and has homered five times over his last three games.

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Gators getting contributions up and down the lineup

In addition to Caglianone, Florida continues to get good contributions throughout the lineup, Second baseman Cade Kurland had 6 RBIs in the two-game series and is batting a team-high .457 with 4 HRs and 16 RBIs. Catcher/designated hitter Luke Heyman went 4-for-8 over the two-game series with a double, triple and 4 RBIs, while shortstop Josh Rivera was 4-for-9 with a homer and 3 RBIs.

Control remains an issue for mid-week pitchers

Florida used eight different pitchers on Wednesday, who combined to walk 11 batters, hit two batters and throw three wild pitches. Starting pitcher Yoel Tejeda lasted 2.2 innings after walking four batters and uncorking two wild pitches.

Up 5-3, Florida surrendered six runs in a sloppy sixth inning that included three walks and a throwing error by third baseman Tyler Shelnut while fielding a bunt. Down 9-5, Florida was unable to rally to win.

"We had two really bad innings this year on the mound: one in the ninth inning against South Florida and obviously, the one today in the sixth inning," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "You're not going to win many games when you walk 11 and you hit three and some of these guys are older. I got to remind guys to cover home plate on wild pitches. I went out and talked about the bunt defense before it happened."

Up next

The Gators will host No. 22 Miami for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. (SEC Network Plus, WRUF). The series will continue Saturday at 2 p.m. (SEC Network Plus, WRUF) and will conclude Sunday at noon (SEC Network, WRUF).