COURTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS
Florida (20-9, 5-4 SEC) has won seven of its past eight games with six wins over ranked opponents. UF swept Missouri (21-7, 4-5 SEC) in Columbia for the first time in school history.
The Gators scored in the opening frame for the third time in the past four games, taking a 1-0 lead on JJ Schwarz’s solo home run to left field.
Florida added another run in the second, taking advantage of a two-out walk to Blake Reese. Ryan Larson laced a 3-1 pitch into left center field for a RBI double.
Missouri finally broke through in the fifth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Kameron Misner grounded into a double play but the Tigers got a run on the board.
Jackson Kowar limited the damage and escaped the inning after a strikeout ended the threat. Kowar improved his record to 4-0 on the season with five innings on the mound, allowing one run on six hits.
Missouri threatened again in the sixth inning, drawing a pair of walks and getting both runners into scoring position, but freshman Garrett Milchin got two groundouts to escape the jam.
Michael Byrne entered with one out in the eighth inning and retired all five batters he faced for his fourth save of the season.
Florida begins a four-game home stand on Tuesday night, hosting Stetson at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium. The game will air on SEC Network+ and the Gators IMG Sports Network.
Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes…
“It was just one of those weekends. I said this last night as well, Missouri is much improved. I’m amazed at the amount of arms that are in this league. We’re facing a guy today who was 92-97 on a Sunday. A few years back, Sunday’s were the high-scoring ballgames. I thought Jackson did a nice job, wiggled out of a couple situations there with some walks. Then with the bases loaded and nobody out he got the big double play. His sinker was good and he threw some quality sliders today and threw some really good changeups. Bottom line, he made some pitches when he needed to.
“It was good to get Austin out there in a short stint and I thought Garrett was great again. He threw a ton of strikes and he’s got a great sinker. He’s got a different breaking ball. And he held his composure. Normally we don’t bring guys out in the middle of a count, but I just felt like he spiked two fastballs in a row and he had done his job. And obviously he pitched on Tuesday last week vs. Florida State. Michael came in and did a nice job. The bullpen was outstanding.
“JJ’s been swinging the bat really good and ran into a ball in the first. Larson had a 3-1 count and ran the ball into left center field gap and it was enough. One-run games are not easy to win, especially not on the road. Any time you get a sweep on the road against a ranked team it’s big for us. I think we’re really starting to come together.”