Sunday forecasts of rain changed the Florida Gators (20-5, 3-3 SEC) and Ole Miss Rebels (13-10, 3-3 SEC) plans for the weekend. Instead of taking a chance that the weather would hold up on Sunday they took the advice of the late, great Ernie Banks and said, “let’s play two!” on Saturday.
Ole Miss played Mother Nature in game one, sending sophomore starter A.J. Puk to the showers early after Puk needed 78 pitches to complete 2.1 innings of work, giving up 5 runs (4 earned). It wasn’t the start that Florida was looking for after Friday Night starter Logan Shore was given similar hostile treatment the night before.
On the other side, Ole Miss starter Brady Bramlett threw six great innings, giving up two runs, just one earned and struck out six. Bramlett threw backwards, starting Gator batters off with his off-speed stuff and used a high, rising fastball as his strikeout pitch.
The Florida freshmen led the team at the plate, recording four of the team’s eight hits, including a 2-for-4 game from Mike Rivera.
Ole Miss won the first game 5-2 before a 40-minute rest period between the two games. The Saturday loss was the first series loss of the season for the Gators and the first time they have lost back-to-back games this season.
Game two got underway at 6:01 local time and Florida got on the board quickly. Dalton Guthrie led the game off with a double and was brought home by a Harrison Bader single. IN the second inning, Mike Rivera singled home Jeremy Vasquez — Rivera’s first of three RBI on the day. Guthrie singled later in the inning to bring in two more runs and stretch the lead to 4-0.
Starter Dane Dunning cruised through the early portion of the game. Dunning lasted 4.1 innings, gave up just one run on five hits while striking out five. Dunning was replaced in the fifth by senior Bobby Poyner — who earned the win — and threw a solid 3.1 innings, while striking out six.
Florida carried an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth before Ole Miss made things interesting. Closer Taylor Lewis allowed the first two runners to reach base after an error and a walk before giving up a RBI single. That was enough for O’Suullivan, who went to the bullpen to call upon junior left-hander Danny Young. Young traded runs for outs and closed out the game with Florida on top 8-4.
“It was one of those games we needed to win, we needed to get out of here with a W. We’ll go back home — we’re .500 in the league — regroup and obviously we’ve got a lot of work to do. We have some guys in roles that aren’t ready for this quite yet.