By Nick de la Torre
The Florida Gators hosted the North Florida Ospreys on Tuesday night and came out on the wrong side of a 7-6 extra-inning affair.
The loss extends the Gators’ losing streak to five games, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier with Miami coming to town on Friday.
Keenan Kish got the start for the Gators (3-6) but lasted only two innings. Kish threw 52 pitches, giving up one hit and two earned runs, in what was yet another lackluster performance for the Gators’ starting pitchers.
The Ospreys (6-2) got on the board first putting up three runs in the top of the third inning. The Gators would answer, putting up three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning, but UNF would quickly take the lead back in the fifth.
Florida went into the bottom of the ninth down two runs. Casey Turgeon led off the inning with a single and Justin Shafer’s double would give the Gators men on second and third with no outs in the inning. Zack Powers grounded out to shortstop, scoring Turgeon and cutting the lead to just one. The very next batter, Taylor Gushue, would hit a sacrifice fly to score Shafer and tie the game and send it to extra innings.
As they had done all game, UNF had an answer to every Florida run. Alex Bacon led off the inning with a single and was quickly sacrificed over to second. Ryan Harris was called for a balk, the second balk of the game for the Gators. With the infield in, Corey Bass was able to bloop a ball just over second bass to bring in the go-ahead run.
Florida would get runners on first and second in the bottom half of the inning, but the game ended when Turgeon popped out to center.
It was just that kind of night and it has been that kind of season for Kevin O’Sullivan’s team.
“It just has not gone the way we’ve expected the first nine games,” O’Sullivan said “It will.”
With 28 sophomores and freshmen on the roster, some growing pains were to be expected. However, at nine games into the season, it’s too early to push the panic button.
“I’m just a little disappointed.” O’Sullivan said. “But this is not a time to panic. We Just have to play better.”
The Gators must learn from these past five games and move on in a hurry, as Miami will likely come into Gainesville undefeated and looking for revenge. Florida has beaten the Hurricanes 11-straight times dating back to 2010.