Gators earn sixth straight win

Tuesday night wasn't the best Florida has played, but as it has done multiple times in recent weeks, the Gators found a way to get the win. Florida ran its winning streak to six games, including wins in nine of the last 11 games, and also got revenge. The Gators traveled to Fort Myers to face Florida Gulf Coast, who swept a series in Gainesville in March, but Florida secured a 5-3 win on Tuesday.

The struggles didn't come at the plate or on the mound. The issues for Florida came in the field, where the Gators made five errors. Two big ones happened in the eighth inning as Cory Reid and Harrison Bader dropped fly balls on back-to-back plays with closer Johnny Magliozzi on the mound. Magliozzi didn't let it bother him, walking one and not allowing a hit in 1.2 innings to earn his ninth save in 10 attempts this year.

Defense was an issue for the Gators during the early portion of the season, and it crept up again on Tuesday. But O'Sullivan wasn't worried. He wanted to look at the positives with his young team.

"Obviously this wasn't our best game defensively, but we overcame it," Florida head coach Kevin O'Sullivan said on his postgame radios how. "We didn't hang our heads. We went out and had a clean ninth inning. Mags didn't let it bother him. You're not going to go a whole season without dropping a couple balls in the outfield, and unfortunately for us, they were both in one inning."

The save for Magliozzi was his third in the last four games.

"He locates his fastball about as good as anybody I've ever coached," O'Sullivan said. "The ball is down and he doesn't misfire. When he's on point, he's really tough to hit. He throws some of those pitches that are impossible to hit. When he's in a groove like that and repeats his delivery, he's really tough to hit."

The familiar bridge of Ryan Harris and Daniel Gibson got the ball to Magliozzi after two innings, allowing just one unearned run on one hit while striking out two hitters.

Before those two, it was Bobby Poyner earning the start and picking up his first win of the season. The sophomore left-hander went 5.1 innings, giving up four hits, one run and one hit batter while striking out for hitters.

"They put some good swings on him the first two innings," O'Sullivan said. "It was mostly a fastball-changeup mix, and then we went to exclusively the breaking ball after that. It made a difference with the right-handers and tied them up. It was as good of a breaking ball as he has thrown this year. It had some tilt to it, some angle to it. It got underneath their bats. That was the difference tonight."

The Florida offense was led by Taylor Gushue, who contributed a two-run double the stretched the lead out in the seventh inning. Harrison Bader, Vickash Ramjit and Josh Tobias all contributed with RBI singles during the game. Gushue, Ramjit and Justin Shafer each had two hits.

It took some time for the Florida offense to get going, but they played with some extra motivation on Tuesday. Florida Gulf Coast swept the Gators earlier in the year in Gainesville, and O'Sullivan's message to his team was clear and concise -- don't let it happen again,

"We had some added motivation obviously," O'Sullivan said. "My message was that we don't lose to anybody in the state four times. Florida Gulf Coast played great in Gainesville and deserved every game, but we were going to find a way to win tonight, and we did. I as really pleased with how we went out there tonight."

The Gators return to action on Friday night at Missouri.


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