Peter Alonso (Kan Li / Scout)

Fast start propels Gators to 12-4 win

A four run first inning and a five run third inning got the Florida Gators (5-0) rolling to a 12-4 win over Eastern Michigan (3-2) Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium on the University of Florida campus. The Gators flashed 12 hits and used 23 different players in the victory.

Eastern Michigan actually scored first when an RBI grounder by Mitchell McGeein scored junior Marquise Gill in the first inning. Gill led off the inning with a double off of starter Dane Dunning (1-0).

Florida then stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first and pounded home four runs, chasing away EMU’s starter Kevin Shul out of the game after six batters.

Junior centerfielder Buddy Reed (2-3, 3 runs) started off the action with a one out walk in the inning. Catcher J.J. Schwarz (2-2, 3 runs) then singled and Jeremy Vasquez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Reed got the scoring going when a passed ball allowed him to score from third. Then first baseman Pete Alonso smacked a two-run double to bring home Schwarz and Vasquez. Freshman Deacon Liput continued his season long hot hitting with a double, scoring Alonso and putting the Gators up 4-1. Liput has had three multi-hit games in four opportunities so far this season.

“I thought offensively we were pretty good today. Deacon Liput had another good day. Buddy Reed swung the bat really well, as well, and was just shy of a home run. He put a really good swing on the ball right-handed. Dalton Guthrie had a couple knocks as well. We got a chance to get everyone in the ballgame.”

After a scoreless second inning, Florida would score five runs in the third on just three hits. Alonso provided another two-run double, freshman Danny Reyes, in his first career start as the designated hitter, added an RBI on a fielder’s choice, and an RBI single by sophomore short stop Dalton Guthrie.

“You’ve got to have a plan, and you’ve got to stick to the plan,” Alonso said after the game. “You can’t really try and do too much or swing too big. You just have to be mentally tough and stick with the plan and then execute. We had a simple approach, and we executed. We did a good job at the plate.”

Dunning got himself in trouble in the fourth walking a couple including one with bases loaded to allow Eastern Michigan another run. Still, Dunning (3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 K, 2 BB) would follow that up with a strike out. After reaching his 74th pitch, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan replaced Dunning with freshman hot shot pitcher Brady Singer (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3K1 BB) who finished off the inning with a strike out.  

Schwarz was at it again in the bottom of the fourth when he parked a ball in the lot over the left field fence for a two-run home run, his first of the year, scoring buddy Reed and putting the Gators up 11-2.  

Sophomore Mark Kolozsvary notched his third RBI over the past two games with a grounder in the sixth after Reed delivered a leadoff triple to left field to put the Gators ahead by 10. The Eagles tallied single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to complete the scoring. Florida used five pitchers who registered 12 strikeouts.

Florida pitching allowed just 3 earned runs on the night and scattered eight hits with two doubles standing as the only extra base hits on the evening. The Florida staff totaled 12 strikeouts on Tuesday continuing a season long series of notching at least 10 strike outs in every game.

“I thought Brady Singer and Shaun Anderson (2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 R, 0 BB) had a really sharp game pitching-wise. All in all, it was a good game,” O’Sullivan said.

Anderson seemed especially sharp and in a zone.

“He was very, very aggressive. He is a rather imposing pitcher on the mound and has two wipeout breaking balls. He’s got a sharp breaking ball in the low 80s, a true curveball that is hard to find and a true cutter. Then, he’s running his fastball 92 to 94. He was good tonight.”

UP NEXT

The Gators and Eagles will face off again on Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla., at Joker Marchant Stadium. The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.


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