STARKVILLE, Miss. – Sophomore right-hander Logan Shore tossed his first career complete game on the road and senior Josh Tobias drove in a career-high four runs as No. 7 Florida (29-10/10-6 SEC) earned a 6-3 victory over Mississippi State (22-17/6-10 SEC) on Friday night at Dudy Noble Field in front of a season-high 9,492 fans.
Shore (6-2) gave up six hits and three runs, with six strikeouts and zero walks, in his second complete game in the last four starts. The right-hander was supported by an offense led by Tobias (2-for-4), who roped a three-run triple in the first inning and added a RBI double in the fifth, as well as a 3-for-4 outing by freshman Dalton Guthrie and a 2-for-3 effort by junior Richie Martin.
The Gators jumped out to 4-0 lead against senior Lucas Laster (4-3) in the first inning on a three-run triple by Tobias and an RBI grounder by freshman JJ Schwarz. Guthrie opened the game with a base-hit into left field and took third on junior Harrison Bader’s team-leading 12th double. After a walk to sophomore Peter Alonso filled the bags, Tobias emptied them with his team-best fifth triple into right center. Schwarz followed with a grounder that brought home Tobias, giving him a SEC-best 47 RBI.
Mississippi State mounted a two-out rally in the fourth to narrow the gap to 4-3. Senior Jake Vickerson led off with a single and was safe at second base on a fielder’s choice by sophomore Jacob Robson with one down. After Shore caught sophomore Reid Humphreys looking on strikes for two down, senior Wes Rea put the hosts on the board with an RBI single into left field. A passed ball moved Robson and Rea into scoring position and junior John Holland (2-for-3) doubled into the right-field gap to score both of his teammates but was gunned down on a relay throw from sophomore right fielder Ryan Larson to junior shortstop Richie Martin to Tobias.
Florida answered with a pair of runs in the fifth on an RBI grounder by Alonso and a two-out double by Tobias for a 6-3 advantage. Guthrie started the frame with his third single of the night, Martin was hit by a pitch and a fielder’s choice by Bader left the Gators with runners on the corners. Alonso collected his second RBI of the night with a grounder and Tobias followed with a two-bagger into left center to complete the scoring.
Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan
On tonight’s game:
“It all started in the first inning when Dalton (Guthrie) had a great at bat to start the game and got things going for us. We scored four runs in the first and it gave us a lot of momentum. From the fifth through the ninth was the best Logan (Shore) has looked all year. I thought the fastball came out his hand good, his breaking ball was sharper and his change-up was down. To be honest with you, he’s thrown some good games for us but as far as his crispness and getting after hitters and locating, I’m really pleased with how he looked in the second half of the game. I can’t wait to get him out there again next Friday night and build off of this. There’s a difference between putting up zeroes like he did in the first three innings and putting up zeroes in the fifth through the ninth. Our offense was good tonight and we’ve talked about playing better on the road so this was a good start in the right direction. This is not an easy place to play on Super Bulldog Weekend and our guys handled it great.”
Logan Shore improved to 6-2 on the season and picked up his third SEC win (Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi State).
The righty has both of the Gators’ complete games in 2015.
Josh Tobias’ total of five triples is the most by a Gator since Nolan Fontana had five in 2011.
Buddy Reed extended his hitting streak to nine games with a bunt single in the first inning.
Richie Martin boosted his hitting streak to eight games by going 2-for-3.
Dalton Guthrie (3-for-4, two runs) singled in his first three at bats and leads Florida with 17 multiple-hit games. He now has a six-game hitting streak.
The Gators and Bulldogs will meet tomorrow at 3 p.m., in a matchup of right-handers, as sophomore Dane Dunning (4-1, 3.19) will oppose MSU sophomore Austin Sexton (3-3, 3.52). The game can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell, will be carried on the SEC Network with Gabe Gross and Tom Hart and viewed through participating TV providers through WatchESPN.