The Gators rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 6-5 and snapped a 6-6 tie in the sixth with a two-run triple by senior Brandon McArthur. Freshman Josh Adams later added a two-out, two-RBI single in the frame as the hosts sent 10 batters to the plate. Making the first relief appearance of his career, sophomore righty Billy Bullock limited the Saints to one run and three hits over six innings and equaled his personal best of six strikeouts to pick up the win.
"Our goal was to chip away when we fell behind," O'Sullivan said. "It's
a long game and the first thing we told them was that it's not over
until the last out. There were a lot of positives tonight and as a team
I was pleased with how we fought back. It's not easy coming back from a
5-0 deficit, especially on opening night with the pressure of a new
coach in front of the home crowd."
"It was a little nerve-racking being a head coach for the first time. It
kind of a hit me a little bit during the national anthem in front of the
fans. Tonight was a good win for everybody associated with our program
and it obviously relieves some pressure."
Siena opened the scoring in the top of the first on an RBI single up the
middle by senior Moises Rivera. Senior Chris Klepps had started the game
with a double to straightaway center field off sophomore Kyle Mullaney
and Rivera stroked the righty's next offering up
the middle to break the ice. Mullaney rebounded by striking out the two
batters and had junior Eric Mruczek's grounder force the runner at
second to end the frame.
Rivera blasted a two-out grand slam in the second inning to provide the
Saints with a 5-0 lead. Mullaney set down the first two hitters before
yielding consecutive singles to junior Nick Messinger and senior Michael
Ambury. Following a four-pitch walk to Klepps, Rivera sent a 2-2 pitch
into the left-field bleachers to clear the sacks and create the five-run
The Gators answered in the bottom of the stanza with five runs on four
hits and an error to knot the contest at 5-5. Following a leadoff walk
to senior Bryson Barber, senior Jon Townsend deposited a 2-2 pitch from junior right-hander Craig Chaput (5.0
IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 6 K) deep to left over the bleachers to put UF on
the board. The round-tripper marked the second year in a row that
Townsend had homered on opening night. Adams lofted a fly ball to left
that was dropped, resulting in him taking second base. A base-hit by
sophomore Jonathan Pigott left runners on the
corners and an RBI grounder from sophomore Hampton Tignor narrowed the gap to 5-3. Following a passed ball that pushed
Pigott to third, junior Avery Barnes legged out an
infield hit that brought across his teammate. Sophomore Cole Figueroa
later sliced a single through the left side with two
down to even the game.
Sophomore Anthony Giansanti moved the Saints back in front with a
one-out homer in the third, also to left field. Over three innings on
the mound, Mullaney gave up nine hits and six runs and matched his
career high of three strikeouts before being replaced by Bullock.
Figueroa delivered his second two-out RBI of the night with a double to
left center in the fourth that tied the game at six runs apiece. The
previous batter, sophomore Clayton Pisani, had earned a
free pass and came all the way around on the two-bagger that went into
Mctriple off junior reliever Will Hassett and Adams added a two-out,
two-RBI single for a 10-6 advantage. Barnes opened the frame with his
second base-hit and Pisani walked before Figueroa laid down a sacrifice
bunt to move his teammates into scoring position. McArthur smacked
Hassett's next pitch over Messinger's head in center field for a two-run
triple and an 8-6 advantage. Townsend reached via a walk for two runners
aboard and stole second before Adams collected the first two RBI of his
collegiate career with a flare into left field to put the hosts up by
"We were faced with the challenge of being down five runs early and
coming back makes the win that much sweeter," McArthur said. "Although I
was thrilled to have the game-winning hit, it didn't really matter who
came through for us. I just want to win and make these fans happy any
way, shape or form that I can. Luckily, I had the chance to do it
Klepps' solo homer in the ninth finalized the margin at 10-7. Led by
multiple-hit outings from Rivera (2-for-4, five RBI), Klepps (2-for-4,
three runs), Willis (2-for-5) and Messinger (2-for-4), the Saints
out-hit the Gators, 12-11. For Florida, Adams was 2-for-5 and reached
base four times, Barnes went 2-for-5 and scored twice and the duo of
Figueroa and Pigott each chipped in with two hits. The Gators were
4-of-5 on stolen-base opportunities, with Townsend swiping a couple of
bags. UF will send junior right-hander Patrick Keating (Harrisburg,
Ill.) to the hill against Siena junior left-hander Matt Moberg tomorrow
afternoon at 2.
Courtesy UF Sports Information
Gators Down Sienna in O'Sullivan's Debut
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Scout's Take: RB Malik Davis Selects FloridaScout dissects the skill set of Malik Davis, the newest Florida Gators commit and Scout's 15th-ranked running back out of the Sunshine State.
Scout Football4:24 AM
Fla.'s No. 15 RB is a Florida GatorThe South's 37th-ranked running back, Malik Davis, just committed to the Florida Gators and goes in-depth about the life-changing decision with Scout.
Scout Football3:59 AM
Gators take on Eckerd Wednesday in JaxThe Gators get one warm up contest before they start the regular season in a couple of weeks. Florida travels to Jacksonville Wednesday to take on Eckerd College in an exhibition…
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 10:21 PM
Gator Blitz: The 2017 Offensive BoardA quick look at how Florida's 2017 board has changed. Who remains on the board, and who is likely to join the Gators' class?
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 4:14 PM