|Wiest (L, 2-5)||0.2||3||5||5||2||0|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - No. 1 Florida erased a two-run deficit with six runs in the bottom of the fourth to take down the Columbia baseball team, 13-5, in the opening game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional. The Lions (20-29) will face an elimination game against FAU, who fell to Jacksonville 5-3, tomorrow, June 2, at 1 p.m.
The Gators (43-17) took advantage of nine walks and recorded 10 extra base hits in the contest to spur the comeback. Reliever Jordan Butler came up with five innings of relief after starter Tommy Mace was pulled after just two-plus innings. Wil Dalton finished the game 4-for-5 with a homer, six RBI and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Lions responded after Dalton’s RBI double in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs. Chandler Bengtson doubled just under the glove of the diving first baseman and Joe Engel worked a four-pitch walk and Matt Cerfolio plated the tying run with a base hit that rolled up the middle. AJ DiFillipo made it four straight batters to reach after a single and Lane Robinette lofted a fly ball deep enough to bring in Engel to put Columbia in front, 2-1.
Randell Kanemaru led off the third with his fifth homer of the season to double the Lions’ advantage. Liam McGill and Bengtson each followed with singles, forcing Florida to make the early call to its bullpen. However, the Lions could not add any more insurance after Butler came in to retire the next three batters on fly outs.
Dalton pulled the Gators within a run in the bottom of the frame, chasing
The first two batters of the Florida fourth worked their way on base via single and a hit by pitch. Deacon Liput evened things up with a double down the rightfield line. SEC Player of the Year, Jonathan India put Florida on top for good with a two-run double with a sharply hit ball through the left side of the infield. Dalton and Blake Reese each doubled to extend the margin to 8-3.
Butler did not surrender a hit until his final inning of work when Jack Chernow doubled to start the seventh and McGill poked a single up the middle. However, a two-run blast by Jonah Girand put the Gators in double-figures. An error allowed Columbia to inch within 10-5 in the top of the eighth, but the Gators plated three more in the bottom of the stanza to cap the scoring.
McGill was 3-for-5 in the contest and Bengtson picked the two knocks. Butler improved to 6-1 on the year for Florida. Wiest fell to 2-5.
Tomorrow’s contest will be aired live on ESPN3.