The Florida Gators dropped its seventh game of the season Tuesday night at the hands of the Jacksonville Dolphins, 8-4.
The Gators opened the scoring in the second inning with Wil Dalton’s team leading 13th home run in the second inning but the Dolphins came roaring back scoring runs in four straight innings, matching the four straight one run innings the Gators put up in innings two through five.
“We just couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game. “We left 13 on base. It’s hard to win games like that.”
Florida would add to Dalton’s home run with another run in the third inning. Jacksonville starter Austin Temple walked the bases loaded and Jonathan India’s fielder’s choice plated Keenan Bell.
The Dolphins bounced back in a big way in the fourth inning. Chris Lehane singled through the right side and stole second. Freshman Jack Leftwich walked Scott Dubrule and Angel Camacho singled to plate Lehane and move Dubrule over to third. John Cassala tied the game with a sharply hit grounder to shortstop and that ended Leftwich’s day.
Austin Langworthy came in to replace him but couldn’t stop the bleeding. Another single and a fielder’s choice gave Jacksonville a 3-2 lead.
The Gators, as they often have this season, responded to their opponents scoring by tacking on a run of their own in the next inning. JJ Schwarz doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third when Austin Langworthy laid down a perfect bunt for a single. Schwarz scored on a fielder’s choice to tie the game but Jacksonville tacked on two more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh.
O’Sullivan admitted after the game that the Gators’ weekend schedule affected their pitching availability on Tuesday night. The Gators will start this weekend’s series at Kentucky on Thursday, rather than Friday. Due to that Freshmen Tommy Mace and Jordan Butler were unavailable to pitch and Michael Byrne would have been made available only in an emergency.
“It changed some things,” O’Sullivan said of the deviated weekend schedule. “We didn’t want to use Jordan Butler, we didn’t want to use Michael Byrne unless we absolutely had to. We didn’t want to use Tommy Mace. It changed things a little bit, but that’s no excuse. We’ve just got to be better.”