Gators Overcome Rough Start to Down Dolphins

Gators Overcome Rough Start to Down Dolphins

On Tuesday night, It certainly didn’t start as well as it ended for the No. 2 ranked Florida Gators. The team overcame a rough beginning to win a game of small-ball, 3-1 over Jacksonville University. It was the team’s 5th straight win.

Gators first baseman Peter Alonso reaches to tag the  Dolphins' Parker Perez on a pickoff attempt. Photo credit: Alex Peterman
Gators first baseman Peter Alonso reaches to tag the Dolphins’ Parker Perez on a pickoff attempt. Photo credit: Alex Peterman

Freshman Jackson Kowar had arguably his worst start of the year, taking 25 pitches just to get out of the first inning. The Jacksonville Dolphins took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Austin Hayes.

In fact, the second inning was almost as rocky as the first, as the Dolphins quickly put runners at the corners with just two outs. A timely double play got them out unscathed, but it was in just the fourth inning that Florida would turn to Frank Rubio at the mound.

Rubio tossed 3.2 innings of scoreless ball to earn the win as he and the rest of bullpen combined for 10 strikeouts over six innings.

Catcher Mike Rivera brought junior Buddy Reed in on an RBI-grounder to break a 1-1 tie game in the sixth, and Jonathan India provided insurance in the 7th on a passed ball.

The Gators are now an eye-turning 15-1 against opponents in the state of Florida, and this was the team’s 14th come-from-behind win. Pitcher Dane Dunning also continued a stellar season, striking out all four batters he faced late in the game.

Florida opens up a weekend series (Thurs-Sat) against the Georgia Bulldogs tomorrow, one of the last remaining home series of the season. Although their overall record (34-5) matches favorably with the South Carolina Gamecocks, both have 11-4 conference marks — the Gators can’t look past this series, as SEC play will be crucial down the stretch.