Florida baseball: 3 takeaways from win over Florida A&M

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun

Florida baseball jumped to an early 11-run lead and held on to beat Florida A&M 17-7 in 7 innings Tuesday night before 5,019 at Condron Family Ballpark.

The Gators (31-7) cruised to their seventh straight mid-week win. Clete Hartzog finished the game off with a scoreless seventh inning.

The Rattlers fell to 18-18 on the season. Jared Townsend (0-4) took the loss on the mound.

Here are three takeaways from the Gators' win:

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Three homers power eight-run second inning

The Gators flexed their muscles in the second inning, belting three homers in an eight-run frame to extend their lead to 11-2.

Designated hitter Jac Caglianone began the onslaught with his 22nd homer of the season, a towering, three-run shot to right that put the Gators up 7-2. Catcher Luke Heyman followed with a solo shot.

Florida's infielder Deric Fabian (23) with his first homer of the season against Florida A&M. Florida beat FAMU17-7 in 7 innings of play, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at Condron Family Baseball Park in Gainesville, Florida.[Cyndi Chambers/ Gainesville Sun] 2023

Second baseman Deric Fabian capped the inning with a three-run homer, giving Florida an 11-2 lead it wouldn't relinquish.

"It was a good inning for us offensively," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "The wind was blowing out at that point. Not that any of them needed the wind but it certainly ... jumping out to the early lead gave us some flexibility to move some guys in there."

Yoel Tejada Jr. notches first win of the season

Tejada (1-0) allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 4 innings, picking up his first win of the season. The freshman righty from North Broward Prep walked two and struck out one. Of Tejada's 69 pitches, 37 were strikes.

Tejada surrendered back-to-back homers to FAMU first baseman Sebastian Greico and third baseman Adam Haldermota in the second inning for the only two runs he allowed.

"His slider tonight was better than it's been," O'Sullivan said. "That's always been a work in progress. Obviously he's got a pretty good arm. He still pitches like a young pitcher where he finds himself in 2-0, 3-1 counts more than you would like to. He's really close to figuring it out."

A chance to empty the bench

O'Sullivan gave some starters a rest and was able to bench several other key starters, including left fielder Wyatt Langford, Caglianone and shortstop Josh Rivera, after building an early lead.

"There are the type of games that are good for morale," O'Sullivan said. "To get the other guys in who haven't had a chance to play. They work awfully hard and it's good to get those guys out there."

Fabian, starting at second base in place of freshman starter Cade Kurland, went 1 for 3 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. He started 43 games as a freshman last season but has seen less playing time this season.

"It's been tough obviously but I'm just focusing on being the best teammate I can be," Fabian said. "Just for the guys that are playing I can help them, maybe listen to things that I saw last year, but, just trying to be the best teammate."

Up next

Florida will begin a three-game series Thursday at No. 6 South Carolina (7:30 p.m., ESPNU).