Gators drop matchup with Florida State

The Florida pitching staff rolled through its bullpen by committee approach while Florida State got 6.1 dominating innings from right-hander Luke Weaver. The sophomore kept Florida off balance and sat his fastball in the low 90s while throwing two off-speed pitches for strikes, holding the Gators to three hits and one run while the Seminoles won Tuesday's game 4-1 at McKethan Stadium.

"His secondary stuff was good," said Florida freshman outfielder Harrison Bader, who went 2-for-4. "He commanded his fastball really well. The secondary stuff was just really good."

The Gators put just three runners into scoring position while Luke Weaver was on the mound, both coming in the fourth inning. Weaver made things harder on himself that inning. With two outs and a runner on third, Taylor Gushue tapped a ground ball to first base, but Weaver dropped the throw at the base and allowed the only run he was charged with to score.

Besides that inning, Weaver was locked in.

He cruised through four of the seven innings he pitched in without allowing a base runner. The sophomore was 91-93 mph with his fastball through most of the game, throwing a changeup for strikes and getting Florida hitters to swing over his curveball in the dirt.

"He threw the ball good," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "We've seen Luke in high school and knew he was good. He threw the ball really well tonight, down in the zone and mixed his pitches. He did a really good job."

It wasn't so easy for Florida starter Danny Young. The freshman left-hander had thrown only 2.2 innings on five appearances before the game, but he handled the big game in front of 4,709 in attendance like an upperclassman.

Young allowed a run in the first inning on a two-out RBI double for Florida State catcher Stephen McGee. The freshman cruised through the second and third innings before allowing a single and hit batter to start the fourth inning. After third baseman Jose Brizuela dropped down a sacrifice bunt, Florida reliever Ryan Harris came in and allowed a single to shortstop Giovanny Alfonzo on an 0-2 pitch, pushing the Florida State lead to 3-0.

"We didn't do a good job out of the pen," O'Sullivan said. We had two inherited runners and make a mistake. I know 0-2 hits are a part of this game, but in a situation like that, they just cannot happen."

The Seminoles tacked on another run in the sixth inning when Harris hit leadoff hitter Josh Delph when the bases were loaded, pushing the lead to 4-1.

O'Sullivan was happy with how Young performed in his first start. He earned the ball because the coaching staff was impressed with how he threw the ninth inning on Sunday against Indiana.

"I was really pleased with how he threw the ball," O'Sullivan said. "We're going to go with guys that have conviction in their stuff. He deserved this start."

The overall frustration was the offense. The Gators had five hits -- all singles -- and struggled to get much of a threat at the plate.

"I think we hit three balls hard all night," O'Sullivan said. "Let's face it, we've got some work to do offensively. We've just got to do a better job."

O'Sullivan announced after the game that junior right-hander Keenan Kish is out for the year with a hip injury.

The Gators start Southeastern Conference play this weekend when Kentucky makes the trip to Gainesville. First pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m.

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