Dunning and Snead propel Gators

A four run 8th inning pushed #1 Florida Gators Baseball (13-1) to their 13th win of the season on Tuesday night in Jacksonville on the campus of the University of North Florida (6-7). Starter Dane Dunning had a rough go in the first inning allowing two earned runs, but settled down quickly and six innings and 10 strikeouts later pitched his team out of the jam for the 6-2 win.

Reliever Kirby Snead got the win as he took over to lead the seventh inning with a 2-2 tie on tap. Snead wasted little time mowing through the Osprey batters sitting down all nine batters he faced and throwing 17 strikes in 8 pitches. It was Snead’s first victory since March 4 of last year and he now has an earned run average of 0.82.  

Dunning walked Osprey shortstop Kyle Brooks to start the contest. Immediately following DH Corbin Olmstead sent a rocket over the left field wall to spot the Ospreys a quick 2-0 lead. Catcher Keith Skinner then singled and there were still no outs. Dunning then got Alex Merritt to strike out before Nick Karmeris grounded to Florida second baseman Deacon Liput who tagged second base himself and threw to first for the double play.

From that point on Dunning and Snead dominated the Osprey hitters.

Florida first baseman Peter Alonso drove in the first run for the Gators. After three hitless innings for Florida, sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie led off the fourth with a double. Centerfielder Buddy Reed bunted safely and with runners on the corners, Alonso jetted a single out to right field to score Guthrie. The Ospreys would get out of the inning when Jeremy Vasquez hit into a 6-4-3 double play.

Florida added another run to tie it up in the fifth. After DH Mike Rivera blooped a double to right field, and Liput drew a walk, left fielder Ryan Larson used a sacrifice bunt to move both runners forward. Freshman 3rd baseman Jonathan India would then bomb one to straight away center sacrificing Rivera home.

Three innings later and the Gators finally put enough hits together to get multiple runs and the decisive score.

Guthrie, who was 3-for-5 and scored two runs, doubled to center field with one out in the inning. Buddy Reed moved Guthrie to third on a base hit to left field. Sophomore catcher J.J. Schwarz then singled to left to drive in Guthrie. Alonso would do damage again with a double that scored Reed and moved Schwarz to 3rd. Jeremy Vasquez was walked to load the bases but Mike Rivera didn’t offer the result the Ospreys were looking for when he poked a one out, two run, single through the right side. Schwarz and Alonso scored for the final runs of the game.

In all, the Gators tallied 11 hits to the Ospreys 4 and Florida had no errors. It was the seventh game of the season Florida posted no errors.

 "This was one of the most complete games that we have played this season,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought that Dane (Dunning) was outstanding and for Kirby (Snead) to throw 18 pitches and 17 strikes over three innings was very impressive. We battled there in the eighth against a top reliever – with JJ , Pete, and Mike coming through with key hits – and we played a clean game in the field tonight.”

The Gators posted their sixth come from behind victory on the year and are 5-1 away from Gainesville. Buddy Reed now has a nine game hitting streak and Deacon Liput has been on base in every contest this year.


Florida will host North Florida at McKethan Stadium Wednesday at 7 p.m. Freshman right hander Jackson Kowar (1-0, 2.25) will start against the Ospreys.

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