Florida baseball: What we learned from Gators' two-game series vs. Florida Atlantic

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida's infielder Josh Rivera (24) heads for home off Florida's catcher BT Riopelle's (15) homer in the bottom of the first inning against Charleston SouthernÕs 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

Florida baseball (12-3) swept a two-game series from Florida Atlantic this week at Condron Family Ballpark, winning 18-11 on Tuesday night and 11-0 in eight innings on Wednesday.

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

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Shortstop Josh Rivera can be productive in the middle of the lineup

Rivera had a monster day at the plate on Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and nine RBIs. The nine RBIs were the most for a Gator player in one game since JJ Schwarz had nine against Stetson in 2015.

"I had no idea that he had nine RBI on the night," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "He's just playing at a high level right now."

For the season, Rivera is batting .400 with seven home runs and a team-high 27 RBIs.

Tyler Nesbitt could emerge as a midweek starter

Nesbitt threw five shutout innings to earn the win Wednesday night, allowing two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 68 pitches.

A 6-foot-3, 200-pound righty from LaBelle, Nesbitt is two years removed from Tommy John surgery. He's made two appearances this season and Wednesday was his first start.

"He hadn't had the opportunity to throw very much," O'Sullivan said. "Keep in mind he's coming off of Tommy John too, so sometimes those things take a little bit of time. He threw really good against a really good FAU team. He certainly pitched well and certainly the better you pitch, the more you pitch, (it's) as simple as that."

Jac Caglianone is still mashing

Caglianone had four hits on Wednesday, including the walk-off grand slam to end the game in the eighth inning.

For the season, Caglianone is hitting .387 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs. His 11 homers are tied with Wake Forest's Brock Wilken for the most in Division I.

Up next

The Gators begin a three-game series on Friday against Siena at Condron Family Ballpark (6:30 p.m., WRUF, SEC Network Plus). The three-game home series will continue Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.