Florida’s right handed ace threw a career best eight strikeouts and allowed four hits in completing the weekend series opener. The win was Florida’s 22nd of the last 27 over Miami and also Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s 350th victory in his nine years as the Gators’ skipper.
O’Sullivan loved what he saw out of his Friday night starter.
“I tell you what, that might the best game he’s thrown at Florida, “O’Sullivan said. “Once he got through the first inning, he was really good and had all three pitches working. He was down in the strike zone and I have to say that he has been working hard in the bullpen about getting the ball down and doing a lot of stuff in between starts. Obviously, it showed up tonight. Credit goes to Logan. He’s been working awfully hard to perfect the ball down. His change-up was really good, he threw some really quality sliders and pitched to both sides of the plate with his fastball. If there was a game ball we give out, Logan gets it.”
Junior first baseman Peter Alonso put Shore’s mind at ease before Shore ever took the mound. Junior Buddy Reed singled in the first and Alonso brought him home with a smash over the left field fence.
Shore was cruising along at 2-0 until the fourth inning when freshman second baseman Deacon Liput added two more RBI to his resume this season scoring Alonso and sophomore J.J. Schwarz on a two out, two strikes double. Liput continues his streak having hit in every game this season (and career) and is batting .474 with 12 RBI.
Shore, who didn’t walk anyone on the night, went the distance for the third time in his career and his worst inning may have actually been his best.
After Liput put the Gators up 4-0, Shore found himself in the first quandary of an inning when Miami sophomore Carl Chester began the inning with a double. Junior Christopher Barr followed the double with a single of his own and advancing Chester to third.
With runners on the corners, Shore worked junior Zack Collins inside and got him to pop up to short for the first out of the inning. With one out, Shore went to work on the base runners. He quickly picked off Barr at first, making it two outs. Shore did get a scare, but a long fly ball it by cleanup hitter Jacob Heyward made it to the warning track where Vasquez was able to reel it in. It was another scoreless inning and the closest the Hurricanes would come the rest of the night.
Schwartz, who has been struggling somewhat added an insurance run in the top of the sixth when he notched his second home run of the season to left field for the final 5-0 margin.
“Offensively, I thought it was really important for us to get on the board early, especially when you play in a hostile environment like we did tonight,” O’Sullivan said. “Pete (Alonso) ran into that ball in the first and I thought we struck five balls in the first inning that we hit hard. I thought we had a good approach, played really good defense and this was the best game we have played this year. We’re excited and we have the bullpen rested after using guys on back-to-back nights on Tuesday and Wednesday. All in all, great game for us, great game by Logan and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.”
The Gators and Hurricanes meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. In a matchup of left-handers, junior A.J. Puk (0-0, 0.00) will face sophomore Michael Mediavilla (1-0, 0.00). The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell and will be carried on ESPN3 through the Watch ESPN app.