|Egly (L, 0-1)||2.0||3||4||4||5||0|
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 2 Florida completed a three-game sweep of the Columbia baseball team with an 8-4 victory Sunday afternoon. The Lions (0-3) took the lead for the second straight day before a four-run sixth and seventh innings by the Gators.
Julian Bury recorded the Lions’ first hit of the afternoon in the fourth, a double that dropped in just fair down the rightfield line, and scored after two productive groundouts to make it 1-0 in favor of Columbia.
Florida, who left the bases full after three walks in the second, threatened again in the bottom of the fourth. Starting pitcher Ty Wiest, who made his first appearance since the 2015 NCAA Regionals (injury), issued a leadoff walk and a one-out single. Nelson Maldonado hit a chopper to third for a force out, but a wild throw on a double play try put runners on the corners with two outs. Junior Harrisen Egly was summoned from the bullpen and induced a fly out on his first pitch to keep the Lions in front.
Columbia had an opportunity to add to the lead in the fifth after Matt Karo and AJ DiFillipo reached, via hit-by-pitch and walk, and a sacrifice bunt. Karo took off on contact after a Shane Adams ground ball to second and was caught in a rundown and tagged out. Adams was also retired on the play trying to get to second, ending the rally.
In the sixth, Florida sent 11 batters to the plate and drew five walks. Mike Rivera evened the score with a groundout to score a runner on third. Maldonado found space in the gap in left-center to put the Gators in front, 2-1. A wild pitch and a bases loaded walk allowed Florida to add a pair of insurance runs. However, the Lions fought back in the top of the seventh.
Lane Robinette started things off with a double that fell just in front of the charging Florida centerfielder. One batter later, AJ DiFillipo sent a 1-0 pitch out of the ballpark for his first career homer to pull Columbia within 4-3 before the Gators pulled away in their next turn at-bats.
With runners on the corners, a wild pitch made it a two-run ballgame and Austin Langworthy reached on a walk with the bases loaded for an RBI. Jonathan India gave Florida even more breathing room with a two-run double to extend the margin to 8-3.\
Randell Kanemaru, who picked up hits in each game of the series, drove in his second run of the day with an opposite field single to right off of Nick Horvath. It was the first run Horvath had allowed this season (six appearances).
Florida worked 12 walks on the day, but had trouble converting with men on and left a dozen runners on base. Jackson Kowar (3-0) picked up the win, allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Keenan Bell and Maldonado each had a pair of hits.
Egly (0-1) was the pitcher of record for the Lions after giving up four runs in two innings of relief. Jack Harlan and Ian Burns faced the final eight batters of the game in each of their Columbia debuts.
The Lions will begin its nine-game, 10-day spring break trip next Friday, March 10, when they take on South Alabama at 4 p.m. in Starkville, Mississippi.