Photo by Danny Parker

Dandy complete game by Brady Singer clinches series for Gators

Sophomore right hander Brady Singer was impressive again on Saturday as the No. 9 Florida Gators (19-9, 4-4 SEC) defeated No. 23 Missouri 2-1 in Columbia, Mo. to clinch the weekend series between the two squads and allow the Gators to move to .500 in the SEC. Florida and Missouri (21-6, 4-4) finish the series Sunday.

Singer pitched his second straight complete game in allowing just three hits, striking out four, and walking three with his one earned run. Singer has lowered his earned run average to 1.47 on the season with the complete game win.

“The pitching from Brady was outstanding again,” Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game. “To three-hit a team on the road, especially the way this field was going to play today with the wind blowing out to left and we’re up on a hill a little bit. We’ve been here three times and I’ve seen games where if the ball gets elevated it does carry. He had his sinker going to both sides of the plate.”

The Tigers did strike first netting a walk by Brian Sharp to start off the second inning who was driven in by a double by Nelson Mompierre. But, that would be it for the scoring for Missouri who threated a couple of other times before terrific defense behind Singer topped by the marvelous play of sophomore second baseman Deacon Liput.

“I thought the play by Deacon in the ninth was a difference maker in the ballgame and J.J. (Schwarz) made a nice play on a tag to end the ballgame,” O’Sullivan said.

Two innings later, the Gators struck. Jonathan India, who missed his third base assignment for the second straight day with an arm injury, but batting DH, led off the fourth inning with a long ball over the left field wall tying the game 1-1. India leads the Gators with four home runs on the season.

Directly following India’s knock, consecutive singles from junior J.J. Schwarz and sophomore Nelson Maldonado and a one out single from junior Christian Hicks landed Schwarz at home for the final and deciding run of the ball game.

The Gators netted a solid eight hits on the day, and it was good to see another multi-run inning which at times has been hard to accomplish for this team.

“India put a big swing on one early with the home run and then J.J.  got a couple more hits,” O’Sullivan said. “Hicks got a couple more hits and played really good defense.”

Schwarz (2-for-3) and Hicks (2-for-4) were the only Gators with multiple hits on the day.

 “I’ll tell you what, first of all, compliment Missouri, they’re much improved,” O’Sullivan said. “It’s a good lineup. Their starter today had good numbers coming in. The radar gun said 87-91 but the ball was coming out of his hand a little bit differently. Good finish with his wrist. Horvath I thought played really good defense in center field, he ran down some balls on the warning track.”

The two teams finish the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The game will air on SEC Network+ and the Gators IMG Sports Network.

“I think they used their best reliever today, Sikkema, so he obviously won’t be available tomorrow,” O’Sullivan said. “They’re regular Sunday starter Tolkien threw yesterday so I’m not sure who they’ll throw. We’re fresh in the pen and we’re in the same position we were in last week winning the first two so hopefully we can finish off this weekend.”


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