Gators’ four dingers seal series win against Georgia Bulldogs

·3 min read

Florida struggled to get run support in a 4-3 win over Georgia on Friday night, but no such issues were present in Game 2 on Saturday. The Gators combined to hit four home runs while stranding seven Bulldogs batters on base. UF took a victory in the weekend series with a dominating 9-2 win.

Hunter Barco made his first Saturday start of the season, and he continued his recent trend of strong command on the bump. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits but just two earned runs while striking out eight. However, it wasn’t an ideal start to the game for the freshman.

He allowed just one hit in the first inning, but he let the Bulldogs (28-20, 11-15 SEC) get on the board first in the second. He gave up a walk and a double against his first two batters in the frame, and a wild pitch on the next at-bat brought the first run of the game across. Barco forced a groundout, but an RBI single from Randon Jernigan put a second up for UGA.

Florida (35-15, 17-9 SEC) responded at the bottom of the inning, though. Kendrick Calilao led off with a single, and a pair of walks loaded the bases for UF with two outs. Jacob Young stepped into the batter’s box, and with two strikes, he delivered a two-RBI single to even the game up.

Barco worked through the side in order in the third, and UF’s offense got back to work. Jud Fabian led off with a solo home run, and two at-bats later, Calilao crushed a solo shot of his own. Just like that, the Gators had a two-run lead, and it also ended the night for Georgia’s starter, Jaden Woods.

Reliever Darryn Pasqua didn’t fare much better, though. He gave up just one hit in the fourth (on a bunt), but in the fifth, the power-hitting returned for the Gators. Fabian hit another leadoff homer, and later in the frame, Josh Rivera got into the action with a two-run shot, putting Florida up five runs.

Barco, meanwhile, didn’t give up a hit after the fourth inning, but a walk with one out in the seventh was enough for Kevin O’Sullivan to change things up. Christian Scott entered, and he immediately forced an inning-ending double play.

UF wasn’t satisfied with a 7-2 lead, though. It loaded the bases, once again, with a single from Kris Armstrong followed by a pair of walks. Rivera notched another base hit on a single that scored two more runs.

Scott just pitched through the eighth, but he only allowed one hit in his short 1 and 2/3 inning appearance. David Luethje entered for the final inning, and he had no issues, retiring the Georgia side in order to end the game.

With a series victory already locked up, the Gators will go for the sweep of UGA on Sunday before turning their attention to their final SEC series against No. 1 Arkansas. First pitch for Game 3 against the Bulldogs at Florida Ballpark is set for 12:30 p.m. EDT.

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Series Preview: No. 9 Florida baseball hosts Georgia Bulldogs this weekend