The Florida Gators baseball team continues to keep cruising early on in the season, proving why they were the unanimous #1 team in the country to kick things off. After suffering their first loss of the season to then #24 Miami, the Gators bounced back to shutdown UNF in Jacksonville 4-0 and then again on Wednesday 8-3.
Freshman Jordan Butler, making his second start of the season, was phenomenal in the first game. He pitched six scoreless innings with six strikeouts to earn his first career victory. On the mound the following night, Tommy Mace was solid in his first career start going 3.2 innings with two runs (1 earned) allowed on 2 hits.
Florida earned its first shutout of the season with a 4-0 win at UNF on Tuesday night in Jacksonville. It was a pitcher’s duel through four innings before Keenan Bell blasted a ball off the right field wall for a lead off double in the fifth.
After a wild pitch allowed Bell to take third, Blake Reese brought him home with a RBI ground-out to give the Gators a 1-0 lead. Florida extended the lead in the top of the sixth with a RBI double from senior captain JJ Schwarz. Wil Dalton, who moved up in the lineup to the lead off spot, singled to center and scored on Schwarz’s double.
Florida added two more runs in the seventh and eighth inning for the final margin. Jack Leftwich and Michael Byrne combined to pitch the final three innings without allowing a run. On the night, UF pitchers scattered just four hits (three singles, one double) and none of the runners advanced any further than when they reached base.
Florida beat UNF 8-3 on Wednesday night at McKethan Stadium to improve to 9-1 on the season. UNF opened the scoring in the first, as center fielder Dan Murphy launched a solo home run to left center. Florida evened it in the second inning with a homer from Jonathan India, his third of the season.
The Ospreys took the lead again in the top of the fourth inning, scoring a run after a throwing error by Florida, but the Gators responded in the bottom half of the inning as Shane Shifflett tied the game with a RBI single to score India. Florida brought the bomb squad in the fifth inning, as three players hit homers to score five runs in the inning. JJ Schwarz and India hit back-to-back shots and freshman Brady Smith hit the first home run of his career. Andrew Baker picked up the win with 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Up Next: Florida hosts Stony Brook this weekend for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 4 p.m. and Sunday’s first pitch will be at 1:00 p.m. All three games will be available to stream via WatchESPN/SEC Network+ and on radio through the Gators IMG Sports Network.