The No. 1 Florida Gators (16-2) continued their wining ways — making it six in a row before beginning conference play — with a 6-1win over Fairfield (0-5) on Wednesday night. Florida built a comfortable lead on Tuesday only to allow the Stags to come back late, before falling 8-7.
Fairfield carried that momentum in to the game Wednesday, getting a runner to second in the first inning and produced back-to-back singles to start the second frame as well. Both times starter Alex Faedo was able to work out of the jam but it was clear from the start that Fairfield was out for their first win of the season and they smelled blood from the night before.
“I think that [Faedo] was a little nervous on his first start,” manager Kevin O’Sullivan said. “You could tell because he was missing arm side, but after he got through the first two innings, he struck out the side in the third inning and was really good. I am really pleased with him getting his first start, and I thought that he threw the ball very well under the circumstances.”
Sensing momentum starting to slip away, Florida’s bats came alive in the bottom of the third. Freshman Logan Browning doubled to start things up and was sacrificed over to third by Ryan Larson. Dalton Guthrie doubled down the left field line to plate Browning, scoring the first run of the game. Not to be outdone by a freshman, Richie Martin smacked a double of his own to double the lead at two.
The Gators added two more runs in the next frame as Mike Rivera doubled home JJ Schwarz before scoring himself on a throwing error later in the inning.
Danny Young surrendered a run when he entered the game in the seventh inning but Florida would answer back with two of their own in the eighth inning.
“I had to slow it down. I fell behind 2-0 [in the count], and I have to do a better job. I need to slow the game down and make pitches,” Young said. “The ball wasn’t getting hit that hard, just a couple weak singles. [Fairfield has] a good lineup. Fortunately, I was able to get out of it.”
The Gators are set to begin SEC play this week as they host Tennessee. Florida has a freshman-heavy lineup (they started five on Wednesday) but they will need the freshmen to rise to the occasion if the Orange and Blue want to win another SEC Championship.
“I’m excited. I’ve heard it gets pretty intense, and it’s nothing like I’ve been exposed to before,” said Dalton Guthrie I’m excited that Tennessee is coming in this weekend. The older players say it’s completely different, it’ll be intense and nerve-wracking, and the games are going to be closer. I’m just looking forward to good battles.”
- Dalton Guthrie’s three hits gave him a team-leading 10 multi-hit games this season.
- Kevin O’Sullivan said junior outfielder Harrison Bader could have played tonight coming off of an ankle sprain but they didn’t want to push it. Bader is expected back in the starting lineup this weekend vs. Tennessee
- Sophomore Pete Alonso will have X-Rays taken on Thursday of his broken right foot. The team is hopeful for good news and expect to get Alonso back in a couple of weeks.
- Buddy Reed singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to six games.
- Senior third baseman Josh Tobias saw his nine-game hitting streak snap tonight after going 0-3.
Hear from Kevin O’Sullivan and players following the sweep versus Fairfield