It’s officially baseball season in Gainesville.
Logan Shore pitched five innings of shutout ball and Harrison Bader collected two hits (including the Gators’ first home run of the season) as the Gators crushed Rhode Island, 9-1, to start the season off right with a big win. The teams will go at it again tomorrow at 4pm, and then Sunday at 12:30pm. Both those games will be on the SEC Network Plus.
If you want the play-by-play recap, check out our live thread, which we used to keep folks up to date. But beating up on Rhode Island should be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s exciting to see a Gator team win a game, and do so in large fashion, but this is a team from the Atlantic-10 that finished 13-40 last year and promises to be little better this year. We’ll get a much better sense of this team when Miami comes to Gainesville next weekend.
Nevertheless, the Gators looked good, and that’s all you could ask them to do against such an inferior opponent. Logan Shore shut the Rams down through five innings, allowing just four hits and never allowing a Ram runner to reach third. He could have gone longer, but it was 8-0 at that point, so why bother? Shore then gave the ball to Mike Vinson, who shut the Rams down in the 6th; Tyler Deel relieved Vinson with the same result in the seventh; Alex Faedo then came in and gave up a solo home run in the eighth to Mike Sherburne, but the damage was done; the Rams were already down 9-0 when the homer was hit.
Florida’s offense also did their fair share, but Rhode Island’s “defense” certainly helped.
The general fear when Pete Alonso went down with a broken foot was that Florida’s offense would lose a lot of power. At least tonight, that wan’t true; Harrison Bader blasted a two run homer, which was one of three extra base hits for Florida. And we got to see a few new sources of offense; freshmen Dalton Guthrie, JJ Schwarz and Mike Rivera each picked up their first hits as Florida Gators. However, Rhode Island also committed five errors in the field, leading to four unearned runs. So yes, without any help from URI, Florida’s total for the evening would have been five. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but it’s nothing to celebrate, either, especially considering how bad Rhode Island is.
But anyway, a win is a win. And considering how good this Gator team appears to be, I’d say it’s the first of many in 2015.