Pitching sinks Gators chances against FAU

Baseball has a way of humbling you like no other sport in the world can.

When Austin Langworthy stepped to the mound in the top of the ninth he was having a career day. The junior hit a grand slam in his second at bat an was 4-5 with 6 RBI. A career night for the outfielder from Williston. Kevin O’Sullivan tapped Langworthy to close the game out against FAU. He’s not primarily a pitcher but Langworthy hadn’t allowed an earned run in 7.1 innings pitched this season and had walked just one.

He walked the first batter he faced, a single gave FAU runners on the corners and a sacrifice fly narrowed the lead to just one run with a runner still on second. Joe Montes ripped a triple into the right center field gap to tie the game and chase Langworthy from the mound.

From the highest of highs to the losing pitcher in just 11 pitches as Owls went on to take the game 13-11.

“It’s especially frustrating for me,” Langworthy said after the game. “I come into the game in the ninth with a two run lead and give up however many runs I give up. It’s extremely frustrating and something that shouldn’t happen. I’m not very happy about that.”

The Gators lost a game where they scored 11 runs and pounded out 21 hits. The pitching, a collection of seven different arms, combined to walk 11 batters on Tuesday night. You’re not going to win many games when you walk 11, and have runs score on a passed ball, balk and wild pitch all in the same game.

“It’s unfortunate that we haven’t figured out that we have to throw the ball across the plate but it’s art of the process of learning to get better. I wish it could speed up. I wish it could happen quicker. At the end of the day we’re at where we’re at right now. We just need a couple guys to step up on the weekend.”

FAU got out to an early 1-0 lead but Florida’s bats stormed back in the second inning.

Brady Smith and Kendrick Calilao singled to start the inning. Smith would score on Jacob Young’s single up the middle. Christian Flint loaded the bases with an infield single to bring up Austin Langworthy. The junior fell behind 0-2 but ran into a hanging slider and launched it over the wall in right field for his first career grand slam.

FAU scored three more runs in the fourth but the Gators answered again. Austin Langworthy walked and Wil Dalton hit a two-run home run off of the scoreboard in right center field.

Ultimately the offense couldn’t do enough to get over the pitching.

The Gators sit at 26-17 and 7-11 in SEC play. They’ll have a chance to get back into the thick of things in the SEC with a strong weekend against the visiting Kentucky Wildcats but O’Sullivan knows it will be a tall task, especially the way things have been going on the mound.

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