|Bahm (L, 0-1)||2.2||4||3||3||1||0|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Columbia scored first, but a four-run seventh inning by No. 2 Florida earned the Gators their second-straight win over the Lions.
Columbia out-hit No. 2 Florida, 11-0, but stranded eight baserunners to fall to 0-2. Centerfielder Ben Porter went 2-for-3 and scored a run in the defeat.
Rightfielder Julian Bury set the tone for Columbia early, making an outstanding diving catch in the top of the second to rob Mike Rivera of an extra base hit and keep the Gators (9-2) off the board.
Porter reached on a leadoff single in the top of the third to set the table for Randell Kanemaru, who pulled a double down the leftfield line put the Lions on the board for the first time this season.
Starting pitcher Josh Simpson worked a 1-2-3 bottom half of frame, but issued a leadoff walk in the fourth which led to RBI hit by Mark Kolozsvary to even things up. In the fifth, Florida’s leadoff hitter Dalton Guthrie used his wheels to give his club its first lead of the afternoon.
Guthrie reached on an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side and scored on a wild pitch.
Columbia answered in the top of the sixth when Joe Engel poked an opposite field single to right to bring in Matt Karo, who recorded a base-hit and moved into scoring position on a passed ball with one out in the inning.
The Gators went ahead for good in the bottom of the seventh after a hard-hit ball deflected off the cap of reliever Zack Bahm. Bahm needed to be lifted due to injury and Florida followed with a triple, base-knock and a pair of bases loaded walks to push the margin to 6-2. Rivera capped the scoring with a fielder’s choice to bring in a run from third in the eighth.
Bahm took the loss (0-1) after 2.2 innings and surrendering three runs on four hits. Simpson allowed just one run on four hits to go with a pair of strikeouts. Engel and Shane Adams also posted 2-for-4 performances from the plate.
Tyler Dyson (1-0) earned the victory for Florida out of the bullpen, lasting 0.2 innings. The Gators’ starter Brady Singer threw 5.1 innings of two-run ball on eight hits. He struck out five. From the plate, Rivera and Kolozsvary each had two hits and a pair of RBI.
The Lions wrap up its season-opening series with the Gators Sunday, March 5 at 1 p.m. on SEC Network + and ESPN3.