An uncharacteristic error from third baseman Jonathan India paved the way for a four-run fourth inning and helped sink the No. 2 Florida Gators (10-3) on the road against No. 23 FGCU (11-2), 7-2.
The Gators have a perfect 9-0 record at home this season but continued struggling away from McKethan Stadium with their third loss of the year.
The Gators got on the board first in the third inning. Deacon Liput singled through the left side with one out and scored two batters later when Dalton Guthrie singled. The Eagles countered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame.
The fourth is where things started to fall apart. Starter Michael Byrne (1-2) sandwiched a hit between two strikeouts. Another hit gave the Eagles runners on the corners. Gage Morey sent a grounder to Jonathan India but India’s throw pulled JJ Schwarz off the bag at first, plating Corey Fehribach. Matt Reardon singled to load the bases. Julio Gonzalez cleared the bases with a triple to center field. Four runs, all unearned and an deficit that Florida wouldn’t be able to overcome.
Freshman Andrew Baker replaced Byrne in the bottom of the sixth inning and had the worst outing of his young career. Baker walked the first two batters he faced, earning a talk from Kevin O’Sullivan. A sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position before back-to-back singles plated two and chased Baker from the game.
Fellow freshmen Garrett Milchin (1.2 IP) and Nick Long (0.2 IP) threw well towards the end of the game.
The Gators will host FGCU on Wednesday night at 6:30 pm.