The No. 5 Florida Gators were in need of some late inning heroics in order to get by the North Florida Ospreys. With the game tied at three, junior catcher Mike Zunino hit a one-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the 11th inning, scoring freshman right fielder Connor Mitchell and giving the Gators the 4-3 win.
Florida needed six pitchers to improve their record to 36-13. Freshman Ryan Harris pitched the final frame and recorded his second win of the season.
Zunino went 3-for-5, raising his batting average to .328, but a 2-for-5 performance from senior center fielder Daniel Pigott (.335) was enough to keep Zunino second in the race for team lead.
The Gators take Wednesday and Thursday off before their final home series of the regular season. Florida hosts Mississippi State in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday night at 7:00pm.
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The No. 1 Florida Gators baseball team hit another rough patch on Tuesday night. In Jacksonville, FL against the North Florida Ospreys, the Gators fell 10-5. The loss was Florida’s second straight and third out of the last four games and drops the nation’s top-ranked team to 24-5 overall.
In what head coach Kevin O’Sullivan called “the worst game we’ve played all year,” the Gators allowed the Ospreys to put runs on the board in each of the second through seventh innings. Although Florida jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, it quickly became 4-1 in North Florida’s favor after two.
The Gators did manage 10 hits throughout the course of the game, but they were only enough to manufacture five runs. The Ospreys’ ratio was a little better with 13 hits producing 10 runs. It was a tough outing for Florida relief pitchers with four recording less than an inning of work.
The Gators return to the friendly confines of McKethan Stadium on Thursday to start a three-game series against the LSU Tigers. Good on one hand – Florida will be back home; not so great on the other – the No. 12 Tigers are 22-6.
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