|Abrams (L, 0-1)||3.0||8||5||5||1||3|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 2 Florida plated runs in each of the first four innings to claim a 7-0 victory over the Columbia baseball team in the Lions’ season opener Friday night. The Gators (8-2) notched 10 hits and starting pitcher Alex Faedo held the Lions to just two hits and struck out nine in seven innings of work to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Austin Lanberry put Florida on top early, belting his second homer of the year over the right field wall to make it 1-0 Gators in the bottom of the first. Starting pitcher Ethan Abrams wiggled out of a bases loaded jam in the second, allowing just a sacrifice fly to keep it a two-run game, but Florida opened things up in the third.
With runners on second and third, Mike Rivera notched a ground rule double to left-center to drive in a run for his second RBI of the night. Keenan Bell followed with a sharp single through the left side and another sac fly pushed the margin to 5-0 after three innings of play.
Columbia put runners on base in each of the first three innings, but could not come up with a rally. Faedo walked two batters early, but retired 10 batters in a row from the third inning until a Julian Bury single in the sixth.
The Gators tacked on two more in the fourth to complete the scoring, taking advantage of a wild pitch with the bases loaded and an RBI groundout by Bell.
First-year’s Ben Wereski and Will West each made their collegiate debuts out of the bullpen. Wereski pitched four innings and struck out six batters, while West pitched a perfect eighth inning to go with a pair of K’s.
Jonathan India, Rivera and Bell all recorded two hits for Florida.
The Lions continue the three-game series with the Gators tomorrow, March 4, at 4 p.m. on SEC Network + and ESPN3.