COURTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS
The bats woke up late as the Gators scored four runs in the seventh inning on four hits to break a 2-2 tie. Seven-straight batters reached base as Florida rallied with two outs.
Juniors Mark Kolozsvary and Mike Rivera each had a pair of hits and two RBI on the afternoon. Nelson Maldonado added two hits and JJ Schwarz had a RBI and scored two runs.
On the mound, starter Brady Singer fought through 5.1 innings with one earned run allowed and five strikeouts. The bullpen combined for 3.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Columbia opened the scoring in the third inning, making the Gators pay for a leadoff walk. Randell Kanemaru doubled down the left field line to score Ben Porter from first for a 1-0 lead.
Florida answered in the fourth. Schwarz drew a leadoff walk and Maldonado followed with a one-out double off the right field wall to put runners on second and third.
Kolozsvary smoked a ball to third for an infield hit that brought home Schwarz and tied the game.
In the fifth, the Gators took a 2-1 lead playing small ball. Dalton Guthrie led off with a bunt single and stole second. He advanced to third on a grounder and then scored on a wild pitch for UF’s first lead of the day.
It didn’t last long, however, as Columbia tied the game in the next frame. Marr Karo singled and came around to score on Joe Engel’s RBI single to tie the game 2-2.
Florida regained the lead in the seventh. Jonathan India hit a double into the right field gap that one-hopped the wall. Schwarz followed with a liner that hit off the pitcher and trickled into right field for a RBI double.
The Gators added to their lead with a two out rally, as seven straight batters reached base with two down. A triple from Rivera brought home one run and Kolozsvary got his second RBI of the day with a single up the middle.
A bases loaded walk to Nick Horvath plated another run for a 6-2 lead after seven innings. Florida added an insurance run in the eighth after a RBI groundout from Rivera.
Frank Rubio pitched the final 1.1 innings and struck out two without allowing a baserunner.
The series finale is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. at McKethan Stadium. The game will air live on SEC Network+.
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes…
“I thought Brady did just enough, it wasn’t the easiest day to pitch. With the wind, sometimes it’s really hard to get a grip on the ball and spin the breaking ball with the wind like this. I thought that Tyler and Andrew did a really nice job out of the bullpen in a tight ball game. I’ve been excited about Andrew since day one, but Tyler Dyson just continues to get better and better and he’s got a really good arm. The older guys at the end, Nick and Rubio, did a nice job. And we played errorless defense again.
“I was really, really pleased with how we swung the bats in the seventh, eighth and ninth. We had some really good at bats. India hit the ball well, and J.J. had really good at bats today. Mike had a really good day at the plate. Kolozsvary stayed in the middle of the field and got an RBI back through the middle. Nelson had a great day offensively as well.
“From that aspect, I was very pleased and hopefully we can build on that. That was probably the best three-inning stretch we’ve had in quite some time swinging the bat and staying in the middle of the field.”