Scrimmage Report: 1/27

The Gators returned to McKethan Stadium on Friday for the first official practice of the spring. With just three weeks until the season opener against Cal State Fullerton, Florida scrimmaged with a few of its best pitchers on the mound.

Junior left-hander Brian Johnson pitching:

Austin Maddox grounded out to third base.

Justin Shafer struck out swinging.

Josh Tobias lined out to shortstop.

Sophomore right-hander Karsten Whitson pitching:

Nolan Fontana flew out to left field.

Daniel Pigott reached on infield single to third.

Preston Tucker singled to left field.

Mike Zunino doubled to right-center field; Pigott scored, Tucker to third.

Brian Johnson flew out to center field; Tucker called out because he left third base early while trying to tag up.

Johnson pitching:

Cody Dent popped out to shortstop.

Taylor Gushue struck out swinging.

Jeff Moyer doubled to right field.

Jeff Moyer picked off second base.

Brandon Sedell flew out to center field.

Whitson pitching:

Tyler Thompson doubled to right field.

Casey Turgeon walked.

Zack Powers singled to left; Thompson scored, Turgeon to second.

Fontana walked.

Junior right-hander Austin Maddox pitching:

Cory Reid grounded out to shortstop.

Sean Trent flew out to right field.

Vickash Ramjit struck out looking.

Senior right-hander Greg Larson pitching:

Daniel Pigott grounded out to second base.

Preston Tucker singled to right field.

Preston Tucker stole second base.

Mike Zunino flew out to right field.

Brian Johnson reached of error by second baseman Jeff Moyer; Tucker to third.

Tyler Thompson struck out swinging.

Maddox pitching:

Connor Mitchell reached on infield single.

Vickash Ramjit lined into double play to second base.

Justin Shafer singled to right field.

Josh Tobias flew out to deep left field.

Larson pitching:

Casey Turgeon struck out looking.

Austin Maddox singled to right field.

Mike Fahrman pinch runs and stole second on a delayed steal.

Zack Powers struck out swinging.

Nolan Fontana grounded out to second base.


Brian Johnson was in midseason form Friday. His fastball was 90-91 and located well. Johnson came inside on right-handed hitters with the fastball early in the count and hit his spot. His changeup was 83 mph and got multiple swings and misses. He also threw the curveball for strikes.

It wasn't as smooth for Karsten Whitson. He left his pitches in the heart of the plate and got hurt because of it. His fastball sat at 93-94 mph, but Mike Zunino hammered one into the right-center gap for a double. The leadoff double he allowed to Thompson in the second inning of work was on a hanging slider.

Austin Maddox's slider looks great. He said in the fall that he changed the grip on it to command the pitch better, and he put it where he wanted on Friday. He got Ramjit looking for strike three on the pitch. His fastball sat in the low 90s all day.

Greg Larson isn't a strikeout pitcher, but he had some extra zip on his fastball Friday. He'll continue to be the same guy Florida fans have seen over the last three years. He's efficient and doesn't waste time getting outs.

This was my first look at freshman Taylor Gushue behind the plate since he enrolled early. I really like him. He's a good athlete and had the tough task of blocking Whitson's slider when it was in the dirt. He threw his body in front of it and didn't let it by him once.

Gushue did strike out against Johnson in his first at-bat. Johnson came inside with a fastball for strike one and got Gushue to swing over a breaking ball in the dirt of strike two. After showing a changeup outside for ball one, Johnson blew a fastball by him for the strikeout. Gushue will have days like this in the learning process, but it's easy to see that he's going to be a good one.

Pitcher's Lines:

Brian Johnson: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 2 K.

Karsten Whitson: 1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 R, 0 K.

Austin Maddox: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 1 K.

Greg Larson: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 3 K.

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