Garrett Milchin / UAA Communications

Garrett Milchin Saves the Day as Gators Beat FAMU 8-7

Freshman Garrett Milchin provided the pop and the poise on Tuesday night, notching four RBI and the save in the Gators 8-7 win over Florida A&M at McKethan Stadium.


Florida (31-13, 13-8 SEC) fell behind early but used a five-run fourth inning to take the lead over FAMU (23-20).


Milchin hit his first career home run, a three-run shot in the fourth, and picked up his first save of the year with the tying run at third base.


Sophomore Christian Hicks had a pair of hits, including a solo homer, and scored two runs. Junior Dalton Guthrie also had a two-hit night.


FAMU took the early lead, notching three runs on five hits in the first inning off UF starter Andrew Baker.


Baker was replaced in the second inning by freshman Kirby McMullen, who worked three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth.


The Gators got on the board in the second inning. Nelson Maldonado led off with a double to left center and came around to score on a throwing error by the Rattlers catcher.


Florida took the lead in the fifth, exploding for five runs on four hits, including a pair of homers. Hicks led off the inning with his second home run of the season, a solo shot into the trees in right field to pull UF within a run.


After a single from Ryan Larson, freshman Keenan Bell was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with nobody out. Milchin, who had just 11 at bats entering the game, lined a pitch over the right field wall to give the Gators a 5-3 lead.


Austin Langworthy’s sac fly to deep center scored Deacon Liput to give UF a three-run lead at the end of the fourth.


The visiting team got a pair of runs back in the fifth, knocking McMullen from the game after a walk and single put two runners on.


Frank Rubio entered from the pen and allowed a trio of singles before escaping the inning. FAMU scored two runs but Maldonado gunned down the tying run at the plate from right field.


The Gators got some much-needed insurance in the seventh inning. JJ Schwarz walked and went first-to-third on Hicks’ single to right to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch to the backstop scored Schwarz from third to make it 7-5.


A sac fly from Milchin gave Florida a three-run lead as the freshman notched his fourth RBI of the night.


FAMU scored a pair of runs in the ninth after three-straight singles to open the inning, but Milchin recorded the final three outs for his first career save.


Florida’s home stand continues on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Jacksonville. This weekend, the Gators host Ole Miss for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.


Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan Quotes:

“That’s our 22nd one-run game … I think we’ve been through this quite a few times. Credit Florida A&M, they played really good and battled right there til the end. I try to explain to our players that when the season starts, people circle the Florida game on their schedule and they get excited to play. Look at the numbers, they’re fielding .944 as a team and make one error tonight. They don’t have their starting shortstop or third baseman, the first baseman made play after play. They ran down a couple balls in the outfield. Give them credit, they played really well. They brought a guy out of the pen in the ninth who’s coming off Tommy John surgery and he strikes out two of three and he’s excited, you could see he’s excited. They played with a lot of enthusiasm. They played good tonight. I think Jamey Shouppe’s done a heck of job with that program. I really do, I think he’s done a really good job. They’re very competitive and well coached.


“That being said, we fell behind early by three runs and battled back. Hicks hit the homer … Garrett gets the save and hits the home run. He’s been swinging the bat well in BP and inter-squad games, that wasn’t just a whim. I wanted to see him get a few at bats. All in all, I thought we hit the ball well tonight. We hit a lot of balls hard.


“The 0-2 hits are the thing that’s a little discouraging, but we don’t walk people. We’re usually around the plate, we only had two walks tonight. I don’t know where we are nationally in walks per nine innings but I’m sure we’re up there pretty good … sometimes those 0-2 hits happen. You just wish it didn’t happen in the ninth inning with the leadoff hitter.


“I thought Kirby came in and did a nice job for us. Frank came in and kept us right there, obviously Garrett had to make some big pitches. They had the go-ahead run at the plate, second and third with nobody out and he got the strikeout at the top of the order.”

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