Gators maul Tigers to take series

Behind a season-high six home runs, No.6 Florida run-ruled No.5 LSU during Sunday’s rubber match, defeating the Tigers 12-2 after eight innings at Alex Box Stadium.

Delivering the team’s second top-five series victory in as many weekends, the Gators (14-9, 4-2 SEC) plated all 12 runs of their runs in the final four innings to deliver a statement win in the decisive game three. The series victory marked Florida’s first in Baton Rouge since a 2011 sweep.

“Early on, (Thatcher) Hurd, he had trouble commanding his fastball but he was throwing his curveball and slider for strikes, so it took us a while to get going,” Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan said on the victory. “Jac (Caglianone) was just unbelievable on the mound today. He was in total control. Never got out of his delivery. Seven innings, one earned run.”

Caglianone continues to dominate both on the mound and at the plate. In his 5th start of the season, Caglianone tossed a career-high seven innings of one earned run ball vs LSU, allowing just three hits and five walks. The Tampa, Florida native has eclipsed 5.0 innings pitched in each of his last four starts and now holds a season ERA of 1.65.

The hard throwing left hander looks like a completely different animal on the bump, keeping his composure throughout his outings and giving the Gators a great effort on Sunday’s.

“I think that’s one of the biggest changes he’s made from last year,” O’Sullivan said on Caglianone keeping his composure. “Mentally, we threw the ball away at first where there probably wasn’t a play. He kept his composure, made his pitches. We kicked the ball in left field but didn’t show any emotion, kind of kept it together. I can’t say enough about how he’s been pitching the entire year.”


Florida totaled 13 hits including six home runs in the contest. The Gators bats struggled through the first two games of this series, but the sticks came alive when it mattered most.

“Offensively we were really, really good,” O’Sullivan said postgame.

After an 0-9 start to the series, Colby Shelton launched a pair of two-run home runs, marking his 11th and 12th of the season. Shelton also added his third three hit game of the season.

“Colby Shelton had a big day,” O’Sullivan said on Shelton’s bounce back performance. “I think we had six homers on the day. He certainly got going today.”

Ty Evans continued his season tear through opposing teams pitching, adding three hits, two runs, and two RBIs. Evans logged his third three hit game of the season and his second in as many days. On the series, Evans went 8-15 (.533) at the plate, totaling five runs and four RBI.

“Ty had an unbelievable weekend at the plate and played great defense, too,” O’Sullivan said on Evans’ weekend. “The play he made yesterday to start the ninth was an incredible play. He made another one to his left tonight.”

Evans is now hitting .389 on the season, which ranks 2nd on the team, seemingly picking up right where he left off in the 2023 College World Series.

“Obviously, Jac ran into one. Shelnut had a great weekend, had three walks today as well. We had some contributions from everybody. I thought Tanner (Garrison) caught great the entire weekend. It was an overall complete team win today,” O’Sullivan added.


Evans, Caglianone, and Shelnut launched back-to-back-to-back homers in the eighth inning to put an exclamation point on a dominant Sunday victory.

The blasts marked Florida’s first set of three-consecutive homers in 19 years – since Brian Jeroloman, Brandon McArthur, and Brian Leclerc accomplished the feat vs. FSU on June 10, 2005.



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.