Dalton’s dingers lead Florida past Stony Brook

Despite giving up more runs than they had in any game this season the Florida Gators beat Stony Brook, 10-2, with an offensive onslaught on Friday night.

Wil Dalton kicked the Gators’ night off with a leadoff home run, the first since Harrison Bader accomplished it on May 24, 2015 against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament Championship game.

Dalton had a hit in each of the Gators’ first five games this season but wet 0-11 on the team’s first road trip at Miami. O’Sullivan moved the junior college transfer to the leadoff spot and he responded with 10 hits in the next three games, including three home runs on Friday night.

“I’ve had two in one game before but never three” he said. “The third one was definitely icing on the cake. I was really happy with the night and really happy that we won.”

According to Blake Reese, Dalton wasn’t happy after his three hit game in a win over UNF on Wednesday.

“He had three hits on Wednesday and he was pissed after the game,” Reese said. “I went up to him and said ‘what’s your deal?’ He said I don’t count those as hits, which to me, is a little irrational. But he ended up staying in the cage for an hour and a half.”

The hitting performance Dalton has put on this season (.429/.479/.762) hasn’t surprised anyone in his clubhouse. Brady Singer’s first impression of Dalton was “a big strong dude” and O’Sullivan gushed about Dalton to anyone that would ask since the sophomore arrived on campus this fall.

Dalton kicked things off with his leadoff home run in the first and the Gators added two more in the second. Reese doubled, his first of two on the night, down the first base line. Austin Langworthy laced a fastball into right field when the ball slipped underneath Michael Wilson’s glove Reese scored and Langworthy moved all the way to third. He would score one batter later when Brady Smith grounded out to second.

The Seawolves of Stony Brook weren’t afraid of Brady Singer or the Gators. They came out swinging and wouldn’t let a three-run deficit deter them.

After two quick outs Brandon Janofsky singled through the left side off Singer and Bobby Honeyman doubled to give Stony Brook two in scoring position. A sharply hit ball up the middle careened of Singer’s glove towards Reese at second. Reese fielded it cleanly but a rushed throw sailed over Kennan Bell’s head letting two score.

Stony Brook took the lead in the fourth inning with a two-run home run from Dylan Resk, followed up by a home run from Nick Grande, the eight and nine batters respectively.

“I feel like that’s the scouting report, jump on me quick,” Singer said. “I felt like I was mixing my pitches good but they’re a good team. They came back and fought.”

The Gators were held hitless in the fourth and Singer returned the favor to Stony Brook in the top of the fifth.

Jordan Butler led the bottom of that inning off with a walk and Dalton blasted his second home run, a towering shot to center field, to tie the game.

That opened the floodgates. Florida scored two more to take the lead in the sixth inning. And five more, exclamated by Dalton’s third home run of the night, in the eighth.

Despite giving up the most hits (9) he’s allowed this season Singer improved to 3-0 on the year and Michael Byrne, who entered a 7-5 game in the top of the eighth, earned his second save.

The Gators and Seawolves will play game two tomorrow at 4 p.m.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC