Dyson falters, Kentucky avoids the sweep

The Florida Gators ran into a buzzsaw on Saturday.

Kentucky starter Justin Lewis gave up a leadoff double to Deacon Liput to start the game and then slammed the door inning after inning. Lewis retired 21 of the final 23 batters he faced with 11 strikeouts via a steady diet of changeups that had the Florida bats flailing.

On the other side of the field Florida sophomore Tyler Dyson struggled. Dyson came into his sophomore season with a lot of hype. He got the win against Wake Forest to send Florida to Omaha and then earned the win over LSU that won Florida its first National Championship. He came into this season with a ton of fanfare and was already being talked about as a potential first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Instead, Dyson has struggled throughout the SEC schedule, posting a 6.95 ERA in his six starts and Saturday’s stint didn’t help.

Dyson walked the first batter he faced before getting an out, but loaded the bases in the top of the first with another walk and a single. Dyson was able to limit the damage to just one after that bases loaded one-out situation but he worked himself back into trouble in the second inning.

Two one out singles and another walk loaded the bases for the Wildcats in the second frame. Dyson was able to, again, get out of the bases loaded jam with just one run coming across.

When Luke Heyer opened the third inning off with a double and Dyson fell behind 2-0 on Ryan Johnson Kevin O’Sullivan pulled the plug on Dyson’s start in favor of Jack Leftwich. The freshman allowed Heyer to score but was fantastic the rest of the day.

Leftwich threw six innings; walked one struck out two and didn’t allow a run of his own. He kept the Gators in the game by stifling Kentucky’s offense.

Florida got back into the game in the fifth inning. Nick Horvath walked with two outs and moved to second on a balk. Deacon Liput was able to reach base when Kentucky’s second baseman Luke Becker’s throw sailed high over Kole Cottam’s head at first, allowing Horvath to score from second.

That would be all Lewis would surrender before he handed the game off to close Chris Machamer.

JJ Schwarz made it a one-run game with his 10th home run of the season — with a solo blast to right field in the ninth but that’s as close as the Gators would get.

The Gators will host Mercer on Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium and Auburn for a three-game series starting on Thursday night.

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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