Florida baseball dominates Charleston Southern on Opening Day

Florida baseball is officially back! The Gators kicked off their 2023 season with a dominating win over Charleston Southern, run-ruling the Buccaneers 13-3 after 7 innings of play.


The Gators put on an offensive clinic in the first of a three-game series at Condron Family Ballpark, totaling 14 hits, five doubles, one triple, and one home run.

Florida exceled with two outs tonight, batting .455 (5-11) with seven RBIs against CSU.

The Gators hit .409 (9-22) with runners on base and .444 (8-18) with runners in scoring position.

Four of the Gators’ seven leadoff batters recorded a hit to start the inning (.571).

Senior catcher BT Riopelle got the scoring party started for Florida, blasting a three-run homerun over the right center field wall in the bottom of the 1st, carrying an exit velo of 110 MPH. Riopelle finished the night with three hits, five RBIs, and two runs.

Senior shortstop Josh Rivera reached base on all five of his plate appearances, totaling two hits, two walks, two RBIs, and three runs.

Sante Fe transfer Tyler Shelnut made his Gators’ debut on Friday night and did not disappoint, totaling two hits on two at bats, one walk, one RBI, and two runs scored. Shelnut was Florida’s designated hitter tonight, but he’s expected to see some time at 1st base this season.

It wasn’t perfect, but Florida’s situational hitting was where it needed to be tonight. The Gators found ways to score without primarily using the long ball.


T1:  Rae, J. flied out to cf, SAC, RBI; George, I. scored. 


UF   0

B1: Riopelle homered to right center, 3 RBI; J. Rivera scored; Langford scored.


UF   3 

B2: Robertson singled up the middle, RBI; Shelnut scored.


UF   4

B4: Langford walked, RBI (3-1); Robertson advanced to second; Shelnut advanced to third; D. Fabian scored.


UF   5

B4: J. Rivera singled to right center, 2 RBI (2-1); Langford advanced to third; Robertson scored; Shelnut scored.


UF   7

B5: Shelnut doubled to left field, RBI (3-2); Evans scored.


UF   8

T6: Brewer, T. singled to right field, 2 RBI (1-2); Low, S. advanced to third; Rae, J. scored; Wilson, A. scored.


UF   8

B6: Caglianone singled down the rf line, RBI (2-2); Langford scored.


UF   9

B6: Riopelle doubled down the rf line, RBI (1-1); J. Rivera advanced to third; Caglianone scored.


UF   10

B6: Evans singled down the lf line, 2 RBI (2-0); Riopelle scored; J. Rivera scored.


UF   12

B7: Riopelle singled to right field, RBI (3-1); J. Rivera scored.


UF   13


Redshirt junior Brandon Sproat got the Opening Day nod from head coach Kevin O’Sullivan. The hard throwing right hander struggled with his command early on, walking two batters in the first two innings, including seven straight balls and a wild pitch in the first inning. Sproat settled down as the night went on but lost his command again in the middle of the sixth inning as his pitch count crept towards triple digits (95). The 6-3, 215 pounder picked up the win, finishing with a line of 5.2 IP, 0 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 HBP, and 7 Ks. 

You don’t see three earned runs on zero hits too often, but it goes to show you that walking batters is just as hurtful as giving up hits.

Sullivan went to sophomores Philip Abner and Fisher Jameson in relief.

Abner faced just two batters, walking the first and allowing a single through the middle on an inside-out hit from Charleston Southern’s Tyrell Brewer.

Jameson worked quick tonight, totaling 1.1 innings pitched, zero hits, zero walks, and two strikeouts on 12 pitches.

Florida finished the game with a strike percentage of 60%, which isn’t terrible, but coach Sullivan would likely want that figure a little higher as the season progresses.

The Gators pitching simply outmatched Charleston Southern when they forced them to hit the ball. The Bucs finished the game just 1-20 from the plate.


Florida was sound defensively in the season opener, posting zero errors and finishing with 21 put outs, six assists, and one double play.

Michael Robertson displayed his speed in center field, crashing hard on a shallow ball and making the catch with relative ease.

Colby Halter looked really comfortable at 3rd base, showing his range and ability to throw on the run.

BT Riopelle allowed a stolen base in the 1st inning on a hesitation and late throw to 2nd base. The 6-0, 215-pound catcher made an exceptional play when Bucs’ catcher Nicholas Fazzari tried to bunt for a hit in the 7th inning.

Florida will look to win the series tomorrow at 4:00 pm.













Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.