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  • Kevin O'Sullivan, Hudson Randall, McKethan Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

    Missouri evens the series with Florida with a 10-1 win. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Mizzou freshman too much
for Gators to handle

Written by Nick de la Torre, April 5, 2015, 0 Comments,
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This wasn’t the homecoming that A.J. Puk had in mind.

The sophomore left-hander took the mound for the Florida Gators (24-8, 6-5 SEC) not too far from his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa but took a loss to the Missouri Tigers (21-11, 7-4 SEC).

Puk’s day started off well. He struck out the first batter he faced before surrendering a walk. A double play got him out of the inning unscathed but it wouldn’t be the last jam Puk would find himself in on the afternoon.

In the second inning Puk gave up a solo home run, single and a two-run home run consecutively before striking out the next two batters to finish the side. The third saw a similar fate. Missouri started the inning with a single and a walk and quickly had runners on second and third after a sacrifice bunt. A double, single and RBI groundout later the Tigers had doubled their lead from three to six.

Missouri starter Tanner Houck, on the other hand, was in cruise control the entire day. The right-hander retired the first 10 batters he faced before Richie Martin doubled in the fourth inning. That turned out to be a minor speed bump as Houck retired the side in the inning without any further damage. Houck made it through seven innings facing just one over the minimum before surrendering a run in the eighth inning.

Buddy Reed led off the inning with a single and was brought home by a Josh Tobias double. Again, unfazed, Houck worked out of the inning without giving up anything else.

“We knew what we were getting into today with him (Tanner Houck). We watched a bunch of video on him and he was as good as advertised,” Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Our guys kept coming back to the dugout saying that’s the best stuff they’ve seen all year.

“It was a really good start, it was about as good a start as you’re going to see from anybody in our league, let alone he’s just a freshman. Credit him, tip your cap, it was just one of those days where he was really good – there’s nothing you can say.”

Florida and Missouri will play for the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. with Dane Dunning (4-0, 2.38) squaring off against Peter Fairbanks (2-3, 2.39 ERA).

Nick de la Torre

About 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

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Print Friendly

This wasn’t the homecoming that A.J. Puk had in mind.

The sophomore left-hander took the mound for the Florida Gators (24-8, 6-5 SEC) not too far from his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa but took a loss to the Missouri Tigers (21-11, 7-4 SEC).

Puk’s day started off well. He struck out the first batter he faced before surrendering a walk. A double play got him out of the inning unscathed but it wouldn’t be the last jam Puk would find himself in on the afternoon.

In the second inning Puk gave up a solo home run, single and a two-run home run consecutively before striking out the next two batters to finish the side. The third saw a similar fate. Missouri started the inning with a single and a walk and quickly had runners on second and third after a sacrifice bunt. A double, single and RBI groundout later the Tigers had doubled their lead from three to six.

Missouri starter Tanner Houck, on the other hand, was in cruise control the entire day. The right-hander retired the first 10 batters he faced before Richie Martin doubled in the fourth inning. That turned out to be a minor speed bump as Houck retired the side in the inning without any further damage. Houck made it through seven innings facing just one over the minimum before surrendering a run in the eighth inning.

Buddy Reed led off the inning with a single and was brought home by a Josh Tobias double. Again, unfazed, Houck worked out of the inning without giving up anything else.

“We knew what we were getting into today with him (Tanner Houck). We watched a bunch of video on him and he was as good as advertised,” Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Our guys kept coming back to the dugout saying that’s the best stuff they’ve seen all year.

“It was a really good start, it was about as good a start as you’re going to see from anybody in our league, let alone he’s just a freshman. Credit him, tip your cap, it was just one of those days where he was really good – there’s nothing you can say.”

Florida and Missouri will play for the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. with Dane Dunning (4-0, 2.38) squaring off against Peter Fairbanks (2-3, 2.39 ERA).

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