#10 Bulldogs out duel #1 Gators to take series

Three freshmen pitchers for Mississippi State pitched a scoreless eight innings giving up just one run in the ninth to outlast Florida for 2-1 win and take the weekend series by the same count. After a big offensive outing for Florida on Friday and then one from MSU on Saturday, both defenses and pitching staffs showed strong Sunday for a nail biter that didn’t go the Gators way.

Mississippi State got just enough from their bats when sophomore Ryan Gridley sent an empty base one over the left field fence in the fifth inning and freshman Elih Marrero dropped a blooper bases-loaded RBI single to right field in the seventh.

The Bulldogs would hold the Gators to just six scattered hits and only Pete Alonso’s ninth inning home run was allowed to cross the plate and put runs on the board. No Gator batter had more than one hit on the day, but the Gators did have base runners, stranding 13 on the day.

“Today was a hard-fought game, and it could have gone either way,” Alonso said after the contest. “We left a lot of guys on base. We should have come up and got them in, but it is what it is. It’s baseball, it was a close game and the ball could have bounced either way.”

Score by Inning

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Runs

Hits

Errors

Miss. State

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

2

9

0

Florida

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

6

0

The Bulldogs scattered nine hits throughout the game. In his first weekend start of the season, Dane Dunning went five innings and was removed after giving up a single in the sixth. Reliever Kirby Snead would last one batter after giving up a single that moved the runner to third and no out. Freshman Brady Singer would pitch out of the jam starting with a grounder hit to Jonathan India at third that went home to get the first out of the inning.

After getting out of that jam in the sixth, Singer would give up two doubles to start the seventh and be pulled for closer Shaun Anderson. After an opening walk and then a blooper to right field for an RBI single, Anderson finished the inning with two strike outs and an infield fly. Anderson would end the night striking out six, a career high, in three innings.

Florida had their chances late in the game. Loading the bases in the eighth inning and stranding all three runners.

All Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan could do was credit the Bulldogs pitching after the game.

"Credit the Mississippi State's pitchers,” O’Sullivan said. “They threw the ball well. We had our opportunities. We just couldn't come up with a big hit. It's just that simple. It's a long season. It's disappointing, of course. We'll move on. We've got to get ready to play Florida State on Tuesday."

You can’t blame the Florida pitching.

"Our pitching in general did what they needed to do,” O’Sullivan said. “They made some pitches when they needed to and kept the score where it was. Shaun (Anderson) did great and made some big pitches. I'm proud of the way he pitched. Dane (Dunning) gave us a really good start."

It was a strong outing from Anderson who seems to be building steam despite the team loss.

“I felt good out there,” Anderson said. “I was just trying to keep our team in the game. I really wanted to win this game and this series. I just wanted to keep it as close as possible.”

It was the first series win against the Gators in Gainesville for Mississippi State since 2007.

NOTES

*Jeremy Vasquez raised his hitting streak to a career-high eight games with a second-inning double. He was 5-for-9 (.556) in the series.

*Peter Alonso recorded his first hit of the series with a homer in the ninth to left field.

 

UP NEXT

The Gators finish a three game series at No. 8 Florida State (22-8/9-2 ACC) in Tallahassee on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Florida is 2-0 against the Seminoles already this year.


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