Scrimmage report: 11/16

The Gators closed out fall baseball practice on Friday afternoon at McKethan Stadium. They continued to get innings on the mound for pitchers that were inexperienced last year but should have an increased role in the spring.

Justin Shafer will have a bigger role on the mound this year, and he showed why on Friday. He was actually recruited as a pitcher first for Florida before hitting so well that he earned a starting spot on last year's team.

The sophomore's slider was good throughout his two innings of work. He fell behind Vickash Ramjit in a 2-1 count but came back to get the strikeout on two pitches, both of them sliders in the dirt that Ramjit swung over. He left a fastball over the heart of the plate that Taylor Gushue hit off the top of the fence in right field, but Shafer allowed just two hits in two innings of work.

Corey Stump gave up one run in two innings of work, but right-handed hitters did most of the damage. If he's used out of the bullpen, that isn't likely something he'll do much of. His arm slot is awful for left-handers to face. Even though it wasn't his best outing of the fall, Stump still retired three out of the four left-handed hitters he faced, with Connor Mitchell's ground ball up the middle serving as the only hit. The one run he allowed was set up by an opposite field double for Ramjit.

The three outs against lefties came on a strikeout of Christian Dicks and ground outs by Tyler Thompson and Zack Powers, including when Stump got a fastball inside on Powers to break his bat.

Freshman left-hander Danny Young continues to make a push for a role on the team this spring. He's aggressive with all of his pitches and isn't afraid to challenge even the veteran hitters with his fastball.

Freshman right-hander Eric Hanhold had another solid three-inning outing on Friday. He struck out one and didn't allow a base runner in his first and third innings of work. The second inning wasn't as pretty. He loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a single to Cory Reid before getting Mitchell out.

He got ground balls and mixed his pitches well. The freshman located his curveball well, including using it on the third strike to Mitchell. He throws three pitches for strikes.

Johnny Magliozzi struggled in his first inning of work. He gave up back-to-back doubles to Vickash Ramjit and Zack Powers to start his outing and gave up four runs in his first inning. He settled in and allowed only a weakly hit infield single to Josh Tobias in the second inning of work. I've written it a lot, but his new, shorter curveball is the reason for his improvement.

Freshman outfielder Harrison Bader continued to play well this fall. He was a late addition to the recruiting class and a less heralded high school player, but he's a good athlete and can really run. His swing is flat and produces line drives, too. He hit a hard line drive down the left field line for a double in his first at-bat and continues to create havoc on the base paths.

The daily Richie Martin highlight came with a runner on first when a lined the ball over the second baseman's head. It was a single off the bat, and for most players, it would've stayed a single. Martin's speed turned it into a double. He has sprayed the ball to all parts of the field throughout the fall.

Freshman catcher Kevin Stypulkowski had a good swing against Daniel Gibson and lined a ball down the right field line for a double. The freshman has a big frame that will fill out and get stronger throughout his career, but he has some power from both sides of the plate right now. The switch hitter has also seen time playing first base this fall to make him more versatile.

Josh Tobias continued to show off his versatility in the field and at the plate. He played third base, second base and the outfield throughout the scrimmage and made plays at all of them, including a tough, backhanded play up the middle when he was playing second base.

He has added muscle in the offseason, and it has translated to his swing. His batting practice is more impressive. He's recording more extra base hits and even hit a long fly ball to deep right field that almost snuck out. The ball is jumping off his bat in a way it didn't last season when he didn't hit a home run.


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