The #1 ranked Florida Gators are in the win column! The defending national champions defeated the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 7-4 on their second weekday game this week. Florida started their freshman lefty Jordan Butler but used a bunch of relief pitchers. Michael Byrne got his first save of the season. JJ Schwarz and Nelson Maldonado have big nights. The JUCO transfer Wil Dalton continues to be one of Florida’s hottest hitters. Bethune-Cookman gave the Gators a real challenge up until the end.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats came into Gainesville Wednesday night looking for some payback. The Florida Gators were the team that knocked them off in the postseason last year as Florida won a national title. The Wildcats started junior right-handed pitcher Tyler Krull but the Gators jumped on him early. Krull pitched 2.1 innings allowing five hits, four runs, two walks and a strikeout. Brandon Wilkes also struggled as he threw 2.1 innings allowing three hits, two earned runs and two K’s. The Wildcats’ bats were awake those as Bethune-Cookman was able to produce ten hits and four runs against the Gators. Leadoff hitter Jameel Edney had a nice game as he went 2-5 with a run scored. Joseph Fernando had a huge night as he went 3-4 with two doubles. Zach Spivey hit well as he went 2-4 with two RBIs on the night.
#1 Florida Gators
The #1 Florida Gators continue to stay hot early in the season with a win against an in-state rival. The Gators gave the ball to freshman LHP Jordan Butler but the freshman struggled late in his outing. Butler pitched three innings allowing six hits, three runs, three walks and three strikeouts. Nick Long got his first win of the season as he threw 2.1 innings allowing no hits, no runs, one walk and a K. Closer Michael Byrne got his first save of the season as he pitched 0.2 innings allowing no runs but one hit. Nelson Maldonado had a big night as he went 3-4 with a double and two runs scored. JJ Schwarz was a double away from the cycle as he went 3-4 with a single, triple, home run and two RBIs. Wil Dalton went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs.
The #1 Florida Gators will take a day off as they’ll travel south to take on another in-state rival. The Florida Gators start their three game series against the Miami Hurricanes on Friday night. The Canes will start their senior LHP Jeb Bargfeldt as he was their best starting pitcher last season. Florida will start their ace Brady Singer as he will look to continue his domination against the Miami Hurricanes. You can watch the Florida-Miami baseball game on Friday night at 7pm EST on the ACC Network Plus on WatchESPN.com.