Florida sweeps series with Connecticut

After a quiet weekend with the bats, the Florida offense saved its power for the last two weekends. Catcher Taylor Gushue tied the game in the ninth inning with a solo home run before Josh Tobias started the 10th inning with a triple and scored the winning run on a Casey Turgeon squeeze bunt, giving the Gators their third walk-off this weekend with a 6-5 win over Connecticut.

"It was a good weekend," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "Really pleased with how we played this weekend and fought back. I think today was our best offensive day of the year. There were a lot of hard hit balls."

Florida won the series on Saturday but looked likely to drop the series finale in the ninth inning. The Gators hadn't scored since the fourth inning and were facing a 5-4 deficit, when Taylor Gushue lined one over the left field fence, barely keeping it inside the foul pole.

The home run gave energy back to a Florida dugout that desperately needed it.

"Sometimes it takes somebody getting a big hit like Gushue's home run that gives everybody a lift. That was a big-time at-bat by a big-time player," O'Sullivan said.

Florida sophomore Eric Hanhold loaded the bases in the top of the 10th inning and was replaced with left-hander Bobby Poyner. The former Friday night starter came up with a big strikeout and fly out to get Florida out of the jam without any damage.

The momentum from that half carried into the bottom of the 10th.

Junior third baseman Josh Tobias, who has struggled to start the year, tripled into the left-center field gap to start the inning. After Richie Martin's one-out walk, O'Sullivan saw an opening in the Connecticut infield. With a left-handed pitcher on the mound against a left-handed batter, Casey Turgeon tried to drag a bunt to the first base side but it went foul.

O'Sullivan kept the same play on, and Turgeon dragged it perfectly to first base, allowing Tobias to score the winning run.

"It was getting a long game, so anything to get that run in," Turgeon said with a smile.

The Gators moved to 10-6 with the win and have won four straight games.

Florida returns home to host Illinois State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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