Florida’s 8 home runs help finish off sweep of Cincinnati

The long ball led Florida to its second sweep of the season on Sunday as the Gators took down the Cincinnati Bearcats, 13-7.

UF had five players combine for a school-record eight home runs over the afternoon, which is more than half of what the team’s season total was entering the game (12). Jac Caglianone started on the mound for Florida and hit a pair of dingers. He didn’t find his rhythm at the plate after the bullpen took over, but this was his first time hitting and pitching in the same game at the college level.

On the mound, things went alright for Caglianone. He struggled early and gave up a run in the first after hitting a batter, walking another and giving up a single. He got a double-play ball that could have gotten him out of the inning but it turned into an error instead.

Caglianone settled down and collected six strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings of work while surrendering three earned runs on four walks, two hits, and a hit batter. Many of the blemishes on his final stat line came in the fifth when he walked three and was pulled from the game.

Blake Purnell didn’t help much in relief, hitting a batter and walking another to tack on two runs to Caglianone’s record. It’s been a rough start to the season for Purnell, and Cade Fisher had to take over to get out of the fifth.

Chase Hopewell gave Cincinnati its best start of the weekend, holding Florida to just three runs through four innings. The only Gator that really got to him was Josh Rivera, but he did so for big damage and brought in three on a pair of home runs in the second and fourth innings.

Florida jumped all over Cincinnati’s bullpen, though. Mitch White limited the damage in the fifth but still allowed a two-run home run from Caglianone. Jackson Murphy fell apart in the sixth, though. He gave up back-to-back jacks to Luke Heyman and Colby Halter to start the inning off and then got pulled after Caglianone hit his second two-run homer in as many innings.

The Gators tacked on four more in the eighth on a solo shot from Cade Kurland and Caglianone’s third homer of the day. Rivera brought in BT Riopelle and scored himself on a Little League home run that an error in right field enabled, and that ended the scoring for Florida on the day. It might not be a mercy rule win, but Kevin O’Sullivan will probably take it all the same.

Brandon Neely got an eight-out save for Florida after taking an offer for Fisher with two outs down in the seventh. He struck out three and gave up a two-run home run in the ninth, but it was a job well done by Florida’s unique closer. Fisher claimed the win, and the Gatorts have their second sweep of the year in as many weeks.

Florida takes on Jacksonville Tuesday in the away game of another midweek home-and-home series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. EST.

Game Notes

  • Wyatt Langford had a great series but was relatively quiet today going 0 for 1 with two runs, two walks and two hit by pitches.

  • Cade Kurland put together his sixth multi-hit game of the season in as many starts. The freshman is playing well beyond his experience level early on.

  • Florida’s eight home runs are the most in a single game in program history.

  • Caglianone’s three homers put him tied with the NCAA leader in home runs coming into the day, Wake Forest’s Adame Cecere.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire